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YOUR COMPLETE WINTER GARDENING GUIDE

“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” They’re the words of travel writer Paul Theroux, but any gardener will be able to relate to them. Now is the ideal time to take stock of your garden, prepare for spring and enjoy working outdoors while there’s still a refreshing chill in the air.

Image via Style Estate.

Image via Style Estate.

Even if your plants have become dormant this winter, there’s plenty you can be doing to make your outdoor area a more pleasant space to spend time in both the cooler and warmer months. When it comes to winter gardening, there are three ways to ensure you aren’t neglecting your outdoor space:

  1. Cosy up outdoor areas
  2. Give your space some TLC
  3. Prepare for spring and summer

Be inspired to get outside, even when it’s cold, with this guide.

Cosy up outdoor areas

Use cushions, lighting and blankets to make an outdoor space more comfortable in winter. Image via Blackbird.

Use cushions, lighting and blankets to make an outdoor space more comfortable in winter. Image via Blackbird.

If you haven’t spent a lot of time outdoors this winter, the top priority on your winter gardening list should be making your outdoor area cosier. There are a number of simple ways to warm up your outdoor space:

  • Add outdoor cushions and blankets to your furnishings
  • Move your seating to an area with more sunlight
  • Create warmth with the addition of a fire-pit, free-standing electric heater or built-in fireplace
  • Use extra lighting to create ambience and a feeling of warmth – consider string lights, lanterns and candles
  • Install shelter structures that will protect your space from wind (vergolas are a great solution, as they allow sun in during winter and provide shade in summer)

When creating an outdoor space, many people do most of the planning with just summer in mind. However, we recommend thinking about ways to season-proof your garden so you can enjoy it year-round.

Ways to do this include using retractable structures and deciduous shade covers that will keep you cool in summer and let sunlight through in winter, and putting heavy planters on wheels so you can easily move them as the seasons change.

Give your space some TLC

When planning a built-in fireplace, think about where you will store your firewood too. Image via Gardenista.

When planning a built-in fireplace, think about where you will store your firewood too. Image via Gardenista.

Nothing is more satisfying than spending a day getting outdoor jobs done – and winter is the perfect season for this, as it’s far more pleasant to get on top of those physically taxing jobs when the weather is cooler.

Things to get done in winter include:

  • Repot container plants
  • Transplant established plants and shrubs while they are dormant
  • Mulch your plants (this helps them retain warmth in winter)
  • Prune roses, frangipani, summer-flowering shrubs and tropical plants
  • Tackle larger landscaping jobs like paving, painting, general repairs, decking maintenance, installing outdoor art, fireplaces and water features, etc.

When it comes to planting, the warm climate in South-east Queensland means there is still a lot you can grow during the cool months. Edibles including silverbeet, cabbage, kale, carrots, lettuce, radish, peas and most herbs will continue to grow.

You can also get ready for the warmer months by planting spring vegetable seeds in pots and placing them in a warm protected area. Tomato, eggplant and capsicums are good plants to get started now.

If you want colour in your outdoor area, try camellias and azaleas for flowering at the start of winter. Gardenia, bottlebrush, may bush and jasmine will begin to flower in late winter and throughout spring.

Prepare for spring and summer

Dreaming of summer already? Get ready for the warm months by designing your summer oasis in winter. Image via HGTV.

Dreaming of summer already? Get ready for the warm months by designing your summer oasis in winter. Image via HGTV.

Spring/summer is prime time for relaxing outside, so it makes sense to do larger landscaping projects before the weather starts to warm up.

When planning design and landscaping for your space, we recommend starting with Pinterest as a source of inspiration. You should also consult with your local nursery on plants that will grow well in your area. If you require professional assistance with your landscaping, now is also the time to book this in before the spring/summer rush begins.

For design ideas, see these seven gardens that showcase why landscaping shouldn’t be an afterthought.

Winter reading: Small Spaces, Big Ideas – our complete guide to garden design. Download your free ebook now!

THE TOP 10 INDOOR PLANTS

Plants instantly rejuvenate an indoor space. And provided you find the right spot for your indoor plants and resist the temptation to over water them, they are relatively easy to grow.

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When it comes to growing indoor plants, there are two main tricks for success:

  1. Choose plants that are suitable for indoor environments

  2. Find the right position for each plant 

There are a variety of indoor plants, with some being easier to care for than others. In the guide below, we have included a number of low-maintenance plants that will be happy enough with minimal water and light. For the best chance of growing success, take note of the different spaces in your home, their aspect and the amount of light they receive each day. Then when you visit your local nursery, look for plants that suit the lighting conditions.

As you read this guide, you will notice that many of the plants have large, glossy leaves. That’s because plants suited to indoor conditions are typically found in shaded tropical environments. Flowering plants need plenty of sun, so it’s uncommon to find houseplants that produce flowers – and those that do are likely to flower less frequently or not at all.

From hanging plants with delicate leaves to those with large foliage and eye-catching geometric shapes, these ten indoor plants will suit any number of decorating schemes. 


OUR GIFT TO YOU >

Download your FREE A3 printable guide here!

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Want more planting inspiration? Download our complete guide to small space gardening!

GARDEN DESIGN TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2017

A new year brings a new mindset, making it the ideal time to turn your attention to your outdoor space. If 2017 is your year to embrace outdoor living and spend more time outside, you are right on the zeitgeist. Pantone named ‘greenery’ as its colour of the year, symbolising our growing interest in reconnecting with nature.

Many of the garden design trends we are seeing reflect this desire to be surrounded by nature at home, both inside and outdoors. Plants are migrating indoors and outdoor spaces are becoming an extension of our living areas, where we now spend more time cooking, playing and relaxing. From internal courtyards to terracotta and new lawn alternatives, these are the top ten garden design trends to watch this year.

1. Indoor plants

Image via Design Sponge

Image via Design Sponge

Indoor plants were one of our trend predictions for 2016 and they’re back again. Plants bring life to an interior and their greenery is the perfect contrast to the neutral, minimalist interiors that are so popular at the moment. They are also a welcome addition to any colourful decorating scheme. This year we expect the olive tree to usurp the fiddle leaf fig as the ‘it’ plant. With its height and delicate foliage, the olive tree is just as versatile as the fiddle leaf and an ideal statement plant. (Olive trees also lend themselves well to terracotta pots – see trend prediction #4.)

Related reading: Bring nature inside with indoor plants

2. Interior courtyards

Image via mckimm

Image via mckimm

The growing popularity of internal courtyards is proof that we want to live closer to nature. Not only do internal courtyards integrate indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly, they also let more daylight and fresh air into a space. And as we continue to fill every room of our homes with more digital technology, indoor courtyards are a design solution that restores balance and provides escape. These types of courtyards are especially popular with families, as you can be inside while the kids play outside, and you’re all still in the one space. 

Related reading: A guide to courtyard design

3. Lawn, reimagined

Image via landezine

Image via landezine

It is now possible to spend less time mowing and watering you lawn, without sacrificing that lush green look. While artificial grass is becoming more popular for this very reason, it does become hot when exposed to the sun. As an alternative, there are a growing number of natural, low-maintenance grasses that don’t require as much water or mowing. Our top picks are Isabella Liriope, which only needs mowing once a year, and Zoysia Macrantha, which is a drought-tolerant Australian native turf.

4. Terracotta 

Image via Anchor Ceramics

Image via Anchor Ceramics

Terracotta is an interior design trend that’s heading outdoors this year. While terracotta is one of the more humble materials, its rich earthy hue contrasts so well with greenery, adding depth to an outdoor space. Look for large terracotta pots or matte tiles to use as features in your space. For those who travel, touches of terracotta will take you back to places like Morocco and Italy, but the 2017 take on this look is slightly more refined with clean lines mixed in with other earthen materials.

Image via Todo Barro 

Image via Todo Barro 

5. Fire pits and creative heating solutions

Image via ak47design

Image via ak47design

Fire pits are popular not just as a source of heating, but also as a way of cooking and adding ambience to an outdoor space. We are seeing companies like Ak47 Design elevating the style of the fire pit and alternatives such as ethanol fires being used as focal points in outdoor areas. Portable outdoor heating solutions such as this wireless energy transfer heater concept are likely to start popping up too, providing an alternative to gas heating.

Image via Design Buzz

Image via Design Buzz

6. Outdoor cooling solutions

Image via EmergyKool

Image via EmergyKool

From heating to outdoor fans and other cooling solutions, there are now a number of ways to ensure you can enjoy your outdoor area all year round. Look for a well-designed outdoor fan to complement the style of your space, or – if you live in a particularly hot climate – you will be pleased to know that cooling solutions such as mist fans are becoming more accessible for residential spaces.

7. More cooking options

The humble four-burner barbecue is getting an upgrade. As outdoor spaces become extensions of the home, cooking outside is on the rise. That means people are now looking for more options to get creative, with fire pits, wood-fired ovens, smokers and fully equipped outdoor kitchens transforming outdoor spaces into culinary wonderlands. And the fun doesn’t end there. Outdoor tandoor ovens, Latin American asados and Brazilian-style grills are also becoming easier to find and install.

8. Outdoor play areas

When was the last time you played outside? Play areas in outdoor spaces don’t just have to be for kids – they can be for adults as well. This year the focus is on outdoor fun and relaxation in all its forms. Create a zone on your deck or balcony for games such as giant Jenga or use part of your backyard to install a bocce court. When creating play spaces for children, think long term. For example, a sandpit built into a deck provides your kids with a shaded place to play now and can be converted into a fire pit when they grow up.

9. Faux timber

Image via Millboard

Image via Millboard

It’s not often that a faux material outperforms the original, but there are a number of composite decking materials coming onto the market that do just that. The great thing about these materials is that they give you the raw aesthetic of wood, but you don’t need to spend your weekends sanding, staining and polishing them. They’re also resistant to scratching and mould, and you’ll never again suffer from a nasty splinter. Many of these materials like those from Millboard are made from recycled materials, making them a sustainable option too.

10. Maximum-impact plants

Image L to R Indian Hawthorne, Globosa Nana

Image L to R Indian Hawthorne, Globosa Nana

The secret to creating maximum impact in a small space is surprisingly easy: low-maintenance dwarf shrubs are incredibly striking when planted en masse or in a large pot. Indian Hawthorne will give you green foliage as well as flowers, while Globosa Nana has sculptural appeal. So make this your year for decluttering your collection of potted plants and making a statement by doing more with less.

Want more garden design ideas?

Download our complete guide to small space gardening. Whether you have a balcony, courtyard, rooftop or a small garden area, you’ll learn how to to make the most of your space.

We believe in giving credit where credit is due, so if at any time you see work that is improperly recognised, please send us a quick note & we’ll gladly update the information. Thanks for inspiring us!