Friday, February 13, 2009

Cool Links

the following link is for an article on creating a butterfly garden using native plants.
  • butterflies

  • and see this:
  • more butterfies

  • and a free on-line gardening magazine
  • Global Garden
  • Below is the list of excursions for 2008. Click on the image and it should open in a new window and you can make the text bigger.

    Design with Nature - Planning a Native Garden
    Excerpts from the PowerPoint presentation prepared by Lawrie Smith landscape architect providing a check list of the principal aspects to be considered in the landscape planning, design and plant selection for your home garden.

    FIRST . . .
    Record the physical characteristics of your garden whether new or under rehabilitation
    Prepare a layout plan showing the size and shape of your block . . .
    • Most important – locate north!
    • Indicate the slopes and levels
    • Indicate the on-site & adjacent structures
    • Show the underground and overhead services
    • Define the landform, rock & soil patterns
    • Locate existing vegetation for preservation

    SECOND . . .
    Get to know your site and its surrounds, personally
    Illustrate on the layout plan the physical and microclimate impacts . . .
    • Most important – locate north!
    • Assess the patterns of sunshine and shadow
    • Identify the effects of storm, wind, breeze
    • Identify the effects of rainfall and water runoff
    • Identify the positive and negative views
    • Assess the quality of the soils & sub-soils
    • Identify existing vegetation for preservation, transplant or removal

    THIRD. . .
    Indentify your principal family needs & functions
    Define on plan how YOU want to use the garden . . .
    • Assess your budget, priorities & available time
    • Plan for interesting arrival & first impressions
    • Identify vehicle circulation requirements
    • Plan functional & interesting access pathways
    • Define and locate areas for outdoor living activities
    • Plan for children’s play facilities
    • Identify areas for work activities in the garden
    Don’t forget – a garden is an artistic creation that evolves over time

    FOURTH. . .
    Choose a style & theme for your garden
    Your preferred garden character will influence the site planning & plant selection.
    Is your garden to be . . .
    • Formal, informal, traditional, contemporary or for seasonal horticultural display?
    • Reflect the architectural style of the house?
    • Exciting fusion of plants and materials
    • Bush garden, rainforest, coastal, cottage or ?
    • Collectors, scientific, experimental?
    • ‘Walkabout’ or stroll garden?
    • New fresh and uniquely Australian!
    • Fundamentally simple, livable & affordable

    FIFTH . . .
    Now you are ready to select plants for your garden
    Each plant has differing attributes . . .
    • What is it? – tree, shrub, cover, vine, fern, palm or ?
    • Where is it from?
    • What conditions does it prefer?
    • How big does it grow in nature?
    • Does it adapt to horticultural techniques?
    • Have you seen it thriving nearby?
    • What is its most prominent feature – form, foliage, flowers, fruits, bark or ?
    • Where are the most flowers and colourful foliage displayed & when?

    To help you select the right species
    They can tell you about themselves . . .
    • Large leaves = shade tolerance
    • Small leaves = sun preference
    • Thick & waxy leaves = store water for later (water wise)
    • Swollen trunk = store water (drought tolerant)
    • Ligno tubers = fire resistance
    • Aromatic = insect resistance
    • Massive seed production = weed potential
    • Grey & silver leaves = sun tolerant & salt resistant
    • Delicate leaves = moisture stress indicator
    • Thorns & spines = wildlife protection & habitat

    Trees have a variety of characteristics and functions
    • Evergreen or deciduous
    • Consider root systems
    • Diverse forms: globular, upright, umbrella, irregular, weeping, conical, etc
    • Specimen tree as a feature or focus element: form, foliage, bark, flower , fruit or fragrance
    • Shade tree locate to control sunshine and shadow
    • Multi planted as a grove, forest or windbreak

    Palm fronds add a special & unique character to a garden
    • Size: tall, medium, low
    • Self cleaning or persistent fronds
    • Feather frond or palmate frond
    • Individual specimens
    • Formal avenues
    • Informal groves

    Shrubs fulfill some important design functions . . .
    • Size: tall, medium, low
    • Screens & hedges: privacy, conceal, windbreak, filter breeze,
    • Feature: form, foliage, flower, fruit, fragrance
    • Shrubbery: foliage contrast, water zone
    • Aesthetic: colour, texture,

    Covers are diverse in colour, texture and form as well as functionally and structurally useful . . .
    • Dwarf shrubs, mattes, tufts, vines, scramblers, grasses, ferns,
    • Erosion control
    • Living mulch
    • Feature plants, seasonal colour

    Vines are functionally and structurally useful . . .
    • Select & locate to maximize flower display – over canopy, under canopy, along stems
    • Shade & shelter: pergola and arbours
    • Softening: fence, walls,
    • Maintenance: pruning, woody, fire, tree damage


    1. Garden Layout & Maintenance - to simplify & minimise water application;
    • Group plants with similar water needs together - Hydrozoning
    • Shallow regular watering (unwise) – encourages roots to remain in the drier upper soil levels
    • Deep soaking watering less often (wise) – draws roots down to permanent reserves of subsoil moisture
    • Apply water deep down in the root zone through a slotted tube (wise) – to replenish subsoil reserves of moisture

    2. Soil – aeration, fertility, additives;
    • Amend soil texture to improve water absorption and aeration – add sand and organic material;
    • Use additives to lock applied moisture into soil so it is progressively available to plants;
    • Do not over fertilize and promote soft new growth – can you supply enough water to keep the plant alive?

    3. Exposure - sun or shade, air movement;
    • Reduce exposure to sun and minimise moisture loss through transpiration
    • Utilize available shade from house or trees to insulate plants from drying sun
    • Protect plants from excessive air movement to inhibit loss of moisture from foliage
    • Plant windbreaks and water-efficient shade trees to create cool shaded conditions

    4. Landform - water runoff & harvesting;
    • Form suitable landform to collect surface water to absorb into subsoil and minimise runoff

    5. Insulate the garden against the sun
    • Mulch; Mulch; Mulch;
    • A minimum of 100mm of mulch will insulate the soil like a blanket and conserve applied moisture

    Choose & use Australian Native Plants
    a basic element for landscape design