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Do you have big dreams for your garden this year, but don’t know where to begin?

Get started on the right path with these 7 basic design rules:
1. The Law of 'Significant Enclosure'

To create a sense of refuge & security within your garden follow the law of significant enclosure.

We feel safe & enclosed when 'the vertical edge of a space is at least one-third the length of the horizontal space'.

For example, if the area you are creating is 9m across (the horizontal space), the hedging / fencing / wall /  should be at least 3m.

It can often be difficult to achieve this with boundary fence height constraints at 1.8m, but it helps to judge heights of hedging plant you might be considering.
2. Follow The Regulating Line

The concept of the regulating line is based upon identifying a distinctive or unique feature in your home, garden or the surrounding neighbourhood that can generate an imaginary line that connects & organises your garden's layout.

This might be a beautiful tree, a view, swimming pool, patio or outdoor deck, archway, pergola or sliding patio doors that open out into the garden.

This line can then be the basis of a grid formation which gives your garden an orderly, cohesive & clean structure that is then softened by planting.

3. Use the Golden Rectangle ratio to get the proportions right

The golden ratio is an equation of proportion to create a space that feels balanced.

The ratio is pretty much 1: 1.6 which you can use to decide the measurements for lawns, decks, raised planter beds, garden beds, swimming pools etc.

For example a 3m long lawn would be in proportion with a width of (3 x 1.6) = 4.8.

4. Bigger Is Better

Another rule of scale & space is that if you are faced with a decision about making a deck bigger or smaller, a main entrance pathway wider or narrow, a pool longer or shorter, an arbor higher or lower, the answer is always to go with the bigger option.  It just makes the space feel generous & roomy.


5. Plant Big To Small

Plant big to small, starting with the structural trees & feature WOW plants, followed by the shrubs & filler plants and finally the groundcovers.

Having the larger plants in place first helps you see the composition of the garden beds in a clearer way.  It is also more practical.  Planting larger trees & shrubs requires more space to dig & move earth about and if this is done first you minimise the risk of disturbing smaller plants.
6. Plant a 50-cent plant in a $5 hole, rather than a $5 plant in a 50-cent hole. 

If plants are not well planted at the most favourable times of year, the results are highly likely to be disappointing.

A suitable plant for the soil conditions, placed at the right height in a sufficiently sized and well prepared hole, soaked before planting, in autumn and early spring is far more likely to thrive.
7. Plant In Masses

Russell Page, one of the great twentieth-century landscape designers said it well: “the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element. Imagine the Parthenon with each column a different kind of marble!”

Once you have chosen a combination of plants that complement each other in relation to size, colour, form & texture feel confident to purchase significant numbers of them to fill the space.  Measure your garden bed and find out the spread / size of the plant at maturity, so you can calculate how many you need to completely cover the garden bed.
If you are making plans to build, expand, or redesign your garden (or even just one area) in 2019, following these tried and tested garden design rules will definitely help you lay the foundation for the perfect garden design.

If you need some additional garden design advice & guidance, our 90 minute garden design consultation is the perfect solution.

Your 90 minute personal onsite consultation includes:
  • New layouts & easy tweaks to add value & make your garden more attractive.
  • Creative ideas that suit your unique requirements & personal style.
  • A sketch of an area in your garden which you need particular help with.
  • Suitable plants and planting combinations that look great and complement your existing landscape.
  • On the spot practical advice on planting technique, plant care & health to help your garden thrive.
  • Access to our local wholesale suppliers to save you money rejuvenating your garden.

Contact us now to book your spot - email claire@ctgd.co.nz.

P.S. During the month of February, the cost is $350 incl. (normally $450) so get in touch today.
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​The New Year always brings about new intentions, plans to revitalise parts of our lives and our gardens are no exception. 

Tidy out the shed, rejuvenate garden beds and attempt to grow new plants, flowers, fruit & vegetables.

Here are a few simple & inspiring ideas to kick start a successful gardening year.

PLANT MORE

  • Take a look at what plants are growing well in your local area & then add them to your landscape - why not take a look at natives, bird attracting or bee loving plants first.
  • Struggling with weeds? Maybe you need more ground cover plants to help fill the spaces where weeds grow.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

  • Check out what is trending in garden design and incorporate one new idea into your garden this year.
  • Treat yourself to a new gardening book - I love to support Kiwi gardeners / authors so any of Xanthe White's books are relevant to our climate and native flora & fauna.

MAKE MAINTENANCE EASY
  • Keep on top of mulching this year, making sure that all your garden beds have a 10cm layer of good quality organic matter.  This cuts down on time spent weeding & watering.
  • Have your garden tools cleaned and sharpened.  It makes using them a more pleasant & effective experience.  
  • Watched the Marie Kondo tidying programme on Netflix?  Maybe your shed could do with a tidy to spark some joy!

CARE FOR WILDLIFE

  • Place a bird bath in your garden.
  • Plant some lavender to attract the bees, or a tui attracting tree such as Kowhai or a Prunus campanulata.

HAVE SOME FUN

  • Plant something fun - sunflowers, sweetpeas, strawberries, blueberries or gladioli - all bring a smile to the face.
  • Go & Pick You Own throughout the year.  The last of the summer strawberries can be picked at Sweet Red this January.


GET INVOLVED 



So a fresh start & new opportunities for you & your garden this year. 

Want to get some gardening work done in 2019, maybe you are planning a renovation and need a landscape design or maybe an area of your garden needs some rejuvenation & new planting? Get in touch - now is the perfect time to start planning as autumn is the best time of year for planting.
​Email me at claire@ctgd.co.nz
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Now is the time to sit back and enjoy the garden with friends and family over the holiday season.  The abundance of flowers and summer colour and harvesting fruit and vegetables.

Don't worry if you didn't have time to plant fresh herbs and lettuce.  There is still time now to pop to the garden centre, get some seedlings and pop them in.  I'm enjoying my basil and tomato plants that I only planted on the 23rd December.

Here are my top 3 essential January jobs...

1. Watering (the right way!)
If you are going to water the garden, make sure you do it right.  Deep infrequent watering develops a much better root system for your plants.  I recommend 1 - 2 buckets of water per plant every 5 - 7 days.  This is obviously dependent on the size of plant, but if you remember the size of the plastic container your plant came in, you want that volume of water x 2.  This should be delivered slowly at the base of the plant with a slow running hose (not the spray setting on your hose attachment) in the mid to late evening.


​2. Keep On Top Of Your Weeds

Weeds compete for the small amounts of moisture in your soil, so do your plants a favour and make sure they are getting all the water at this time of year.  Keeping on top of the weeds is easier said than done, but if you can keep on top of them and just wander once a day pulling out the little ones, then your garden will thank you for it.

​3. Plan Your Future Garden

If you are wanting to improve your garden, make it lower maintenance and more attractive for this new year, now is the perfect time to start that process.

Autumn is the perfect time to make changes in the garden as it is the longest time before the harsh summer, for the plants to get established, so now is the time to start thinking and planning for those changes.

Start the process NOW by contacting me via email at claire@ctgd.co.nz.  We are qualified landscape designers as well as qualified and experienced gardeners, so are the perfect people to chat too.  

We offer consultation & design advice too where Naomi & I share our knowledge & the essential information on what's best to plant, what will survive and thrive and garden layouts and designs that will suit you, your style and family home.  Get in touch today.
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It's that time of year where solidifying your landscaping plans comes to the forefront of your mind. Whether you are an avid gardener with a green thumb or simply looking to freshen up your outdoor area, mulch is an easy and cost effective way to make the garden so beautiful your neighbours will be green with envy.


Type of Mulch
Picking the right mulch for your gardening needs is an important step in determining how much of the product you will need.

1. Fine Mulch: Fine mulches include products like bark mulch, which is partially decomposed wood products and shredded mulches commonly found in nurseries. These products are useful for adding a bit of color to your garden, as well as improving your soil and encouraging the growth of your plants.

2. Coarse Mulch: Coarse Mulch includes pine nuggets and bark chips. These are not shredded products and are good for controlling weeds and making your garden look better. However, since it has not began to decompose, it is best used where there isn't the need for soil improvement.

3. Stone: While stones like river rocks and pea gravel are not often thought of when considering mulch, it can be very useful when choosing a mulch for your garden. Stones can stabilize your garden if it is prone to washout, like on a hill. It is also a simple and elegant touch for raising the appeal of your garden. When using stone, consider using weed fabric to help appearance and make cleaning it up easy.

How Much do You Need?

For many, determining the amount of mulch needed for a garden can be a bit daunting. To begin, you will want to measure the length and width of the area you plan to mulch in metres. Then, multiply those numbers to get the area of your garden. If you have multiple areas to mulch, repeat this process for each section and add them together to find the total amount of coverage you need.

Next you will want to determine how thick you want to lay the mulch. For finer mulches in a flower bed you will want to lay about 5 - 10cm of mulch while coarser mulches can be laid in a thickness of up to 15 cms. Stones do not need to be laid as thick and should cover the ground with around 5cm.

Once you have determined how thick you want to lay your mulch. It's time for more math. You will multiply your total area by how deep you want your mulch. If you have a garden that is 40 square metres and you want it to be 10cm or 0.1m deep, multiply those numbers (40m x 0.1m) to get 4 cubic metres of mulch.  This will cover 40 square metres 10 cm deep.

For non even numbers, you will want to round up to the nearest whole number to get the total cubic metres of mulch you will need for your garden. If you have a round bed, you will want to find the radius of the bed and square it by multiplying it by itself. Then, multiply the resulting number by 3.14. Once you have the resulting number, you find the depth and total number just as you would with a rectangular bed.

​This process will help take the guesswork out of buying mulch. By using this method, you can finish styling your garden and enjoy the view even quicker after a hard days work.

If you would like us to pop round and quote to mulch your garden before summer, contact us HERE today.



Author Bio : Thank you to Sarah Bradley for writing our blog for us this month.  Sarah works for “Yourgreenpal and she loves gardening and lawn care.
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Do you need a plan to help you create an attractive low maintenance garden?

Do you want to add value to your property by installing a great garden but not sure what is going to work?

Are you sick of coming home to a garden of need yet yearn for a garden of Eden?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, come and join me on my new, online garden design course.


​Over 4 weeks, using online learning methods such as videos, handouts emailed to you and a 'one on one' Skype consultation, this self paced course, which requires no more than 2 hours per week, will help you create your own garden plan.

I will share all my knowledge, tips, skills & tricks of the trade, as well as my supplier list (which will save you hundreds of dollars) to help you create the garden of your dreams.

There are only 5 places per course to ensure you each receive my individual attention, so click on the link below to grab your spot.
http://bit.ly/designyourowngarden
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Do you need a plan to help you create an attractive low maintenance garden?

Do you want to add value to your property by installing a great garden but not sure what is going to work?

Are you sick of coming home to a garden of need yet yearn for a garden of Eden?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, come and join me on my new, online garden design course.


​Over 4 weeks, using online learning methods such as videos, handouts emailed to you and a 'one on one' Skype consultation, this self paced course, which requires no more than 2 hours per week, will help you create your own garden plan.

I will share all my knowledge, tips, skills & tricks of the trade, as well as my supplier list (which will save you hundreds of dollars) to help you create the garden of your dreams.

There are only 5 places per course to ensure you each receive my individual attention, so click on the link below to grab your spot.
http://bit.ly/designyourowngarden
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​We were lucky enough to enjoy an afternoon at this beautiful house on the cliff in Castor Bay late last year.  The wonderful garden design framed the view perfectly - out over the Hauraki Gulf to Rangitoto and beyond.  And yes - the pool was as cold as it looked for Molly & Charlie.

Sadly, we aren't all lucky enough to have a wonderful view like this, but we can all create a view within our own garden.

First, find an appealing object or view that deserves attention.  That might be within your garden or you could "borrow" a view from outside your garden, as the owners have done here.  This could be the point where the sun sets, a neighbour's beautiful tree or the Waitakere's in the distance.  Within your garden, look for your focal points (if you don't have a focal point in your garden, it may be time to create one!) such as a bench, an impressive plant or tree, a water feature or an urn or vase.

You can also frame views within your garden too with arbors, gaps in fences, plantings and gates.  Create a sense of excitement and intrigue as you move into the space.

In both cases learning to recognize axial relationships in your garden is one of the best ways to site your framed view. A visual axis or sight line is simply the line or view the eye follows from one point to an object in the distance. Stand in the area of your garden with the strongest or most appealing vantage point. This could be your front door, back deck or even inside your house looking through a window or open door. Look out from your vantage point and select the strongest object in view. This may be the vista of a river beyond, or a potting shed, a large tree or the steeple of a church in the distance. This line between point "A" and point "B" is your primary axis.

Once the scene or object has been identified and the sight line has been established, the next step is to consider ways to frame the view to screen out surrounding distractions and direct the eye toward the object or vista. This is much easier than you might think. The pendulous branches of a weeping tree can be removed above a path, thereby framing the path itself, heightening the pleasure for anyone who walks along the path. Allowing a climbing rose to trail around your kitchen window or offering a glimpse of your house through a grove of cabbage trees are just a few ways of framing your garden without a lot of effort.

In some cases, it will be important to screen undesirable views or objects to eliminate distractions, such as a neighbour’s house, power lines, or rubbish bins. Once you determine the view that you want to highlight, look for existing elements to help build your screen. Privacy fences, buildings, existing trees and evergreens can all be incorporated to eliminate distractions and frame the attractive components.

If you have a view that you would like to enhance or undesirable objects that need to be eliminated, get in touch at claire@ctgd.co.nz and let us help you with some free advice.
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1. You don't spend any time in your garden! 
It's summer and you want to be relaxing after work in the garden on these balmy evenings.  If you aren't going out into the garden, it must mean it isn't a great place to be.  Maybe you have nowhere to sit, either alone or with your friends.  We can design these social spaces into your garden - so entertaining just happens effortlessly.

2. You don't invite your friends over in the summer as there is nowhere comfortable to sit with them.
Leading on from point 1, if you like to have people over, you need the right space to put them.  Is your garden table big enough to accommodate them - do you have seating to cater for your friend's family & children plus your own? I've never heard anyone say their deck is too big, but I've seen plenty of decks that are ridiculously small.  Our designs ensure that you will have spaces big enough to entertain successfully.

3. People aren't quite sure where your front door is.
If you have had the courier man turn up at the wrong door and give you a fright or you have to give friends clear instructions on how to find you, we can design clear indicators to your front entranceway - pots, letterboxes, stylish house numbers and taller entrance trees can all signal your front door.

4. You can look directly into your neighbour's house.
No one likes people staring straight into their home and we are asked all the time to screen out undesirable views.  We offer some great planting options to increase your privacy from neighbouring properties.

5. Your garden is untidy and covered with weeds.
This is a sign that there is a mismatch between your garden and your ability to keep on top of it.  Either you dislike the garden so much you don't care about it (mismatch between your style and the garden's style) or the garden requires more maintenance than you can manage (mismatch between your lifestyle and the garden's requirements).  Either way, we match the garden to your ability to look after it and your own personal style, so you'll love to keep it looking great all year round.

6. You step on only grass when walking around your property.
Wet, muddy shoes and feet and mowing funny little strips of lawn.  In NZ, the land where people go in bare feet, sealed or hard surfaces are great when you need to pop out to the veggie patch, hang out washing, use the BBQ or hop into the spa pool.  We learn about how you behave, so we can design a garden which is comfortable to be in.

7.  You can see your washing line when relaxing on your deck / in the garden / in your living room.
Do you want your friends to see your underwear collection when they pop by?  Exactly - let's place the washing line in a spot where you don't have to see it when you are relaxing and having fun.

8. Your washing line has grass underneath it.
Oh dear - it's got really windy and washing has fallen onto the muddy grass.  Concrete pad or pavers under the washing line please - say no more!

9. Your lawn doesn't have a defined edge to it.
Problems - grass migrating into the garden beds, messy edges, visually untidy = solution of mowing strip to keep your garden looking neat and tidy.

10. Your dustbins clutter the driveway or your front door.
Let's put the bins either in a bin unit or create a utility area in a suitable place where all the visually unattractive bits and pieces can go and it can be screened out of sight.

If your garden displays the signs that it needs a redesign, here's my .  Get in touch - I offer a FREE consult where we can chat about what you can do to create a garden that works for you, makes your life easier and adds value to your home.
​Cx
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1. Buying pots of differing colours, shapes, sizes & material
When buying pots, either buy the same colour or the same shape in the same material but not everything at once.  The image above shows pots of a similar shape, material and colour but in different sizes. 

2. Not buying big enough
When you buy a pot, the pot, or the grouping of pots needs to take up a third of the space it will sit in.  This often means investing in a really large pot, or many large pots.  The image above shows just how generously sized pots can look really great in a big space.
3. Not buying enough
Repetition works well when it comes to containers - buying the same container and running it along a pathway with the same planting can look striking.

For help sourcing, styling and planting your pots and containers, contact us via today.
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Was just asked this question by a client....

Can I spray the weeds around kowhai, without getting the kowhai – or do I just weed them out as best I can?
Kathryn

Well Kathryn - in an ideal world we would all have the time and patience to keep on top of all the weeds in our gardens and carefully weed each one by hand, but weed killer does do the job faster.  You can now get good organic weedkillers and you can find them in the "organic" section in your local garden centre.

This is a great weeding hack using a plastic bottle.  Remember, only weed on dry, still days, so the spray doesn't carry - but using this method, the spray is all targeted directly onto the plant you want rid of.

I know some gardeners who tape the bottle onto the nozzle of their backpack sprayer or pump sprayer - that works too.

To book one of our sparkly gardeners to come and weed your garden, send me a text on 021 549 161 and before you know it, one of our gardeners will have made all your weeds disappear as if by magic!
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