The diverse ecosystems of Australia are home to some of the most striking natural flora in the world. With everything from alpine scrubs to tropical flowers and leafy palms, they provide a rich well of inspiration for gardeners everywhere. As home and business owners prioritise sustainability in creating sensuous and appealing gardens, there's a lot that landscapers and home owners around the world can learn from Australia. Here are some hallmarks of Antipodean gardens that you may wish to utilise in your own plans.
Acclaimed Australian landscape gardener Paul Bangay embraced an overgrown feel in his Woodend project, allowing coarse grasses and clumps of wild flowers free rein in an undulating natural landscape. Mimic this approach by interspersing exotic native flowers, waterfalls and rocky crags throughout the grounds.
2. Tropical plantlife
Use gargantuan deep-green monstera plants, lively orange clivia flowers and leafy philodendrons to transform parts of the garden into miniature jungles.
3. Rock gardens
Gardening on rock, as Melbourne-based designer Philip Johnson did in his 'Best in Show' display at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show, is another way of creating a sense of uninhibited wilderness. Tree ferns and other lush foliage serve to relieve the harshness of the rocky surface. Like Johnson, you may wish to create a solar-panel fuelled waterfall to ensure the plants remain healthy and well watered.
4. Free-flowing flora
Created using foraged wild plants, tropical flowers, fragrant eucalyptus and raw twigs and branches, Australian flower arrangements exude a wild and rustic majesty. These floral set pieces look striking in hanging baskets or chunky terracotta pots dispersed around the grounds, or in a pagoda to add a far eastern influence.
This Japanese style of flower arrangement has been adopted by many Australian designers. A strictly traditional and spiritual art form, it makes prominent use of negative space, aiming to showcase all aspects of the plant including flowerless branches and leaves, rather than simply the blossom.
6. Feature walls
Oceanic blue and lucid orange can set off greenery beautifully, adding life and lustre to external brickwork. Choose bold, primary colours for a touch of Antipodean flair.
Respect for the environment is at the core of Australian garden design. To follow suit, camouflage solar panels in the undergrowth, and have waste disposal units built out of natural materials such as reclaimed wood.
Recycled and foraged metal can be painted in bright colours and transformed into sheds or art pieces, contributing to a quirky, bohemian feel.
Known elsewhere as oxbow lakes, these small pools work particularly well in a solitary and shady area of the grounds. Place yours in a quiet clearing as part of an outdoor mediation space, and watch the natural world thrive around you.
10. Custom-built furniture
Whether your personal tastes tend towards plush outdoor recliners or traditional wooden benches, commissioning your own custom-built furniture ensures every piece in your garden will complement your landscaping.
If you're looking for your own Australian property, complete with beautiful grounds, Engel & Völkers are perfectly placed to assist. With a shop in Queensland's capital Brisbane, our experts can guide you towards your ideal new home and garden down under.