The latest in landscaping

The latest in landscaping

Planning a backyard blitz when the cooler weather arrives? An attractive streetscape and a well-planned, well-kept outdoor area can make your patch of nature a more appealing place to be – and add significant value to your home.

Landscape, mortgage broker

Research by the University of WA in 2013 found that having a broad-leafed tree on the street verge increased the median property price by almost $17,000. If you’re shaping up to sell at some point down the track, great landscaping can mean the difference between finding a buyer or not, and can help you achieve a premium price.

Just like interiors, gardens and outdoor areas are subject to changing fashion and it makes sense to ensure your planned renovations are on trend and appealing, before you get your Jamie Durie on.

Seed Landscape Design principal Paul Stein shares some tips on what’s hot and what’s not in the outdoor realm in 2018.

  1. The return of the breeze block

Ideal for delineating an indoor/outdoor area, breeze blocks – lightweight rectangular concrete blocks with cut-out holes – can provide privacy, screening and ventilation. They were popular around Australia in the ’50s and ’60s, and have recently become a ‘thing’ again, according to Stein. “A breeze block feature wall or screen allows the breeze and vegetation through and can provide beautiful shadow play,” he says.

  1. Forget the fire pit

A compact and ‘cool’ successor to the big old brick barbecue, fire pits have been the backyard accessory du jour in recent years, but they’ve lately been superseded by the more formal outdoor fireplace, typically located next to an al fresco seating or dining area. “This has evolved from the more structured Hamptons garden style that’s become very popular over the last few years,” Stein says.

  1. A farewell to rolling lawns

Once upon a time, the classic Aussie backyard comprised a Hills Hoist plonked in the middle of a patch of grass, but in 2018 we’ll see more folk turfing out the turf in favour of lower maintenance and less water-thirsty alternatives. “We can still produce open green spaces with groundcovers,” Stein says. “The trend is towards better designed ‘outdoor rooms’, punctuated with well-placed garden beds and hardstand or paved areas.”

  1. Light it up

Outdoor lighting can be much more than a couple of spotlights to light the way to the clothesline at night. Landscape illumination has become the star of the show, with strip lighting under seats, stairs and along the ground being used to create moods and highlight features within gardens. “Done well, it can bring the landscape inside visually at night, particularly during winter,” Stein says.

  1. Bring the outdoors in

Don’t confine your green thumb activity to the great outdoors – generous indoor planting is aesthetically pleasing, freshens up the air and can boost your mood into the bargain. “Think cascading planting, to shelves and macramé hanging pots … there are lots of creative ways you can bring more of the outdoors in by incorporating plants into all rooms of the house,” Stein says.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.