Size Matters with Earth Creation Landscapes

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It’s all about size and how you use it in Noosa, as Pete Goodlet discovers!

In gardening, like in many things, size matters. The important thing is recognising what you have and using every inch of it to bring on the ultimate ‘O’ – “Oh what a beautiful garden!”

It is the exclamation that every gardener aims for, and my goodness does it make us tingle from the top of our head to the tip of our toes.

Now when I say use every inch, I don’t mean cram it so full that your eyes have no place to rest. Maybe ‘consider’ every inch is a better way to put it. Small spaces need a creative gentle touch to bring them to their glory. Leave some negative space to let your eyes rest.

This can be a spreading patch of ground cover such as Pratia penductula – White Star Creeper or maybe Native Violet, Viola Hederacea. These can spread throughout the garden creating a ground-level backdrop for pavers, sculptures, or statement plants. A monotone carpet of planting creates a sense of unity in a garden.

Natural bluestone makes a perfect paver and can be beautifully complimented with organically shaped stepping stones cut from large boulders. Keep the grouting to a similar tone to create unity in the surface. Stone brings an earthing feeling and creates a sense of both adventure and harmony.

In the same way, you could also use exposed aggregate concrete with free form shapes. Both work beautifully to create a mid-century, Palm Springs vibe.

Vary the size of your planting. Start low with the groundcovers and build up from there with taller bushes and strappy plants leading your eye to larger feature plants at the back and towards the fence.

Mix up the foliage form, size, and colour to delight the eye. On a masonry fence you may consider painting or rendering it and then growing a wall hugging Ficus pumila Minima to deliver a solid wall of green. It is also the perfect backdrop for a bronze or ceramic sculpture or create your own by carving a hebel (aerated concrete) totem. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

Choosing the right furniture for a courtyard space is vital so seek out the best quality within your budget. Big solid pieces can ground the space or choose lighter sculptural pieces. Aim for furniture with enough style to hold its place in the garden. You are better to slowly match some quality pieces collected over time than rushing out and buying a quick fix for now solution.

Think of it like your wardrobe, quality pieces last and you can always mix and match and accessorise as you go. Also consider contemporary metal and mesh or fibre furniture that allow a play of light and shadow. If you have a sheltered spot why not include a day bed to read the day away or even sneak in a little nap or cuddle!

Just watch out that Beryl next door, doesn’t suddenly find the need to climb a ladder and prune her cherry tree!

Lighting is an absolute star in courtyards and smaller gardens. You can appreciate their beauty through your windows and enjoy gorgeous evenings in your space. Keep the lighting to a minimum though with some well-placed uplights and lanterns or moonlighting. You do not want any glare, especially at eye level. A hidden spotlight onto a sculpture or artwork can be particularly effective and candles can work brilliantly to add a touch of romance. Look for lanterns with tracery to cast beautiful shadows across the scene – let’s face it we all look a tad sexier by candlelight.

Now when it comes to planning your smaller space garden or courtyard remember there are rules, but more importantly rules were made to be broken. If you want an arty garden full of colour, then go for it. Mosaic gardens and artist spaces are a great example of creativity gone wild. But one tip: you will find greater harmony if you repeat some colours flowing through the garden –  Jewel colours in jade and ruby can look spectacular!

No matter what size garden you have, Stuart and the Earth Creation Landscapes team are experts at delivering the ultimate ‘O’ – “Oh what a spectacular garden.”

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