Preparing your backyard and alfresco area to entertain need not mean extensive landscaping.
Emily Reed, from Out There Landscapes & Design, said the idea of merging the indoors and outdoors is becoming very popular with home-owners.
“They are requesting designs and plants that attract some of our favourite garden creatures such as birds, butterflies, lady beetles and blue tongue lizards, known for eating unfriendly pests,” Ms Reed said.
“Size of the space, suitable plant species and solar orientation are the first considerations before starting the backyard design.
“Magnolia x grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ trees fit nicely into a smaller space as a feature, supported by screen plants for privacy such as Acmena smithii [Lillypilly] and ground covers to finish the area.
“Trachelospermum jasminoides [Chinese Star Jasmine] is our favourite ground cover boasting beautiful white flowers and a light perfume aroma.”
Ms Reed suggested using a mixture of feature trees at varying levels as boundaries around a plunge pool and deck area.
“Acmena smithii [Lillypilly] are an excellent screen with the new growth prominently featuring pink and red tones,” she said.
Strappy plants, such as liriope muscari, are often used to define the start of a garden bed and frames the turf area while citrus trees are an ideal way to pollinate the garden.
Ms Reed suggested a minimalist, low-maintenance approach for the most effective results.
“Comfortable seating, a built-in or free-standing barbecue area and two or three feature plants in the alfresco space are ideal,” she said.
“Keep it simple, undertake research for the different plant species and use a variety of plants inside and out to enhance the space.”
Ms Reed also designs outdoor areas for Elderton Homes.
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