Australian style gardens showcase the many wonderful trees and shrubs indigenous to our part of the world. Gardens can be located in any geographic region from the coast to the bush and from tropical to the cooler climates of south-eastern Australia. Blending with their natural surroundings, they feature local native plantings, attract a variety of birds and other wildlife, are drought tolerant and environmentally conscious. Design style may be informal or formal, but often uses curved lines to replicate natural contours and employs earthy, bush colours. Consider incorporating feature rocks, gravel, pebbles and local stone, grasses and grass trees, wildflowers and billabong-style ponds.Grafted gums are useful for small gardens.
Resort style gardens are inspired by tropical garden styles characteristic of Bali and other parts of South East Asia. Resort style gardens are perfect for areas in Australia with subtropical and tropical climates; however, with proper plant selection, it is possible to also adapt this style for cooler parts of Australia. Emphasising relaxation, resort gardens often have flowing lines, lounges, bamboo, rattan or timber furniture, market umbrellas, barbecue and entertainment areas. In hot climates, shade, water features, pools and spas all cool things down. Consider using design elements such as paving, decking, boardwalks and ropes, pebbling and stone slabs. Typical plantings are close together and include foliage plants, palm trees and bromeliads.
Mediterranean style gardens depict many of the popular Mediterranean regions from Spain, southern France, Italy and Greece, and are inspired by their lifestyle and culture. Tending to be drought tolerant, they are suitable in many parts of Australia. Provincial style gardens are informal, rustic, and have an aged-farmhouse look using natural stone paving and lime-washed walls. Shaded outdoor areas with pergolas and climbing plants are ideal for alfresco dining. Olive trees and home-grown fruit and vegetables along with picking flowers are characteristic. Formal Italian style may also include wall-mounted water features, courtyards and piazzas using cobblestone paving, pebbling, mosaics and tiling.
Natural style gardens include coastal and bush gardens. They are similar to Australian style gardens but may blend both Australian and exotic plants. Exotic species are selected for their aesthetic input into garden bed displays as well as their ability to grow in Australian conditions. Informal in design and sympathetic to the surrounding landscape, natural style gardens use curved lines to replicate nature and are inspired by Australian bush colours. Typical plantings include grasses mixed with exotics such as succulents, wildflowers, proteas and picking flowers. Consider using natural stone paving and walls, exposed timbers, decking, shade sails and market umbrellas in neutral colours and natural style water features.
English style gardens stem back to the heritage of many of our earlier settlers and are still popular today. Formal English gardens are best suited to Georgian style architecture or formal houses. Design principles are based on square, rectangular and circular shapes in paths and lawns, and the use of axes and symmetry. Gardens are neat with clipped hedges, topiary, coppiced and espaliered trees and minimal flowering plants. Paved areas incorporating urns and fountains are common. Informal gardens use curved lines and create elements of curiosity. There is more emphasis on colour and fragrance with flowers, herbs, fruit trees, vegetable gardens and lawns. Arbours and pergolas can be attractive features.
This information is from the Yates Garden Guide: fully revised & updated 44th edition, HarperCollins, $39.99. You can have this information and so much more at your fingertips by purchasing the Yates Garden Guide, available at all leading bookstores and Bunnings stores.