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Garden

Echium Purple

WTF! WHAT’S THAT FLOWER!?

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants | No Comments

Welcome to the Kyora flower blog!

WTF? (What’s That Flower)

For all you’ll need to know about the flowers of the week!

 
A stunning flower display amongst Echium’s is about to kick off! The Pride of Madeira plant will put on a show of blue/purple flower spikes from around late spring, take note of what they look like and keep your eyes peeled as they come into full bloom shortly.

Echium are a great plant that can really make an impact in the right location. Echium will grow to approximately 2.5 metres tall and can tolerate full sun and coastal situations. The grey green leaf  look great year round even while the plant is not flowering. Preferring well drained soils, this plant is quite drought tolerant and only requires pruning after flowering.

https://au.pinterest.com/pin/508977195364334634/

There is a cultivar that has a pink/red flower called Echium wildpretii, which grows flower spikes to approximately 2m high, but most commonly Echium fastuosum and Echium candicans will be what you see around Sydney.
Flower blog
Keep an eye out for these beauties, you will not be disappointed!
Botanical name: Echium candicans
Common name: Pride Of Madeira Family:
Boraginaceae Origin: The Portuguese Island of Madeira – Portugal and Spain

Written by Nick Mason
FAIRY FIRE PIT

DESIGNING THE PERFECT FIRE PIT!

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Uncategorized | No Comments

Designing the perfect fire pit….

 

When it came to this front garden, the entire area was hard surface! Sandstone flagging paving and pebblecrete and concrete pathways dominated the space. The decision was quickly made as a minimum, to turn the space into something a lot more usable, functional and alive with plants!! A main feature of this garden was to be a fire pit! A place to come together, a place to mingle and enjoy the company of others and a focal point of the garden.

When it came to designing the area, there were a few decisions and considerations in the design brief:

  • The area must be circular so that any one seated in the area can clearly see and talk too anyone else seated in the area no matter where they sit. This will also mean everyone is an even distance away from the fire
  • The area must be sunken to help create intamacy and privacy. We humans like to feel safe and being sunken helps this
  • The area can not be too big or too small. Guests need to be a safe distance from the fire yet not too far away they can’t feel it’s radiant heat or too far from each other to be able to communicate
  • Recycled hardwood timber posts must be incorporated somehow!?!
  • The area must be centred to the existing windows which will soon become sliding doors
  • The fire must be smoke free as it will be located near the house and the neighbours
  • A mixture of materials in the construction of the fire pit without it looking too busy
With all these considerations a design was penned and the set out and construction commenced. Below are some photos of the early progress as we strived to complete the perfect fire pit!

BEFORE

before - fire pit

DURING

AFTER

AFTER - FIRE PIT
In the next instalment, we will cover the design solutions to help create the perfect fire pit and tick off all the requirements from the design brief.

Written by Nick Mason.

TOP 4 BAMBOO!

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Turf | No Comments
Does the thought of Bamboo send shivers down your spine?? Bamboo has earned a reputation for spreading like wildfire. Plant it and expect it to pop up everywhere you do and don’t want it and then good luck killing it and getting rid of it. Yes, there are types of bamboo that do this, they are called Spreading bamboo, but there are also some types of bamboo that grow where and how you want them too.
Bamboo is a plant that can achieve great screening without the width of an advanced hedge. Bamboo can grow straight up without taking up much more width than 500mm if not less if required. Whether used for screening or to help create an asian themed garden bamboo can look great and does not have to be a plant to fear.

Below are Kyora’s Top 4 bamboo types.


Bambusa textilis gracilis – Slender Weaver

Type – Clumping/non invasive
Grows up to 6m
Full sun to part shade
Green stems and leaves
Upright growth habit
Most popular and most commonly used
Great screening bamboo and looks great pleached.

Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse karr’ – Alphonse Karr

Type – Clumping/non invasive
Grows up to 8m
Full sun to part shade
Yellow stems with green stripes
Upright growth habit
Also commonly used, can be hedged to 2-4m
Great screening bamboo
Can suffer from mealy bug attack

Drepanostachyum falcatum – Blue Bamboo, Himalayan Weeping Bamboo

Type – Clumping/non invasive
Grows up to 3.5m
Part shade, not full sun
Thin stems and leaves
Upright habit with arching stems
Great feature or container plant, also good for screening

Bambusa lako – Timor Black Bamboo

Type – Clumping/non invasive
Grows up to 15m, most commonly 8-10m
Full sun to part shade
Thick black/ebony stems with green leaves
Upright habit
Striking appearance with its ebony stems but quite a slow grower

So there you have it, no need to fear Bamboo, why not embrace it as it could be the perfect plant for your garden.

Written By – Nick Mason
*All images via Pinteret

WTF! WHAT’S THAT FLOWER?!

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Uncategorized | No Comments

Welcome to the Kyora flower blog!

WTF? (What’s That Flower)

For all you’ll need to know about the flowers of the week!

You know spring has sprung when the stunning colours of Cercis erupt from the stems of this small to medium tree.  A great specimen tree for small, medium and large gardens. The Cercis provides not only an amazing spring floral display but is ever changing throughout the seasons. The foliage of different cultivars range from the greens of Cercis canadensis ‘Roethgold’ Chain of hearts, through to a reddish purple of the Cercis canadensis ‘forest pansy’. Cercis display autumn colour before losing their leaves come winter. They grow to anywhere between 2-6 metres tall and prefer part shade to full sun.
flora
Look out for these now as they a looking their best. Look to incorporate one in your garden for a year round show of this great small tree.

Written by Nick Mason.

GLEBE – COMPLETED PROJECT!

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Turf, Uncategorized | No Comments

GLEBE

After approximately 4 weeks of work the project was complete. The tessellated tiles, new step risers and treads look fantastic. The rendered walls still need a coat of paint but they really make the space feel neat and complete. The artificial turf, with the addition of a few fallen leaves, look as close to real as you can get!

GLEBE1

One of the final jobs was a hardwood timber,  custom made bench seat. Designed to be neatly positioned in the centre of the walls garden bed. This was not only to create symmetry and a focal point when you enter the garden, but to also not take up any more space than it needed to. The end result looks great. The timber used was spotted gum and had been left to leach its tannins prior to applying oil.
GLEBE2
The plants selected are all low maintenance. Escallonia and Rhaphiolepsis ‘Snow maiden’ used as the hedging plants with underplanting of Liriope ‘El Marco’ and Gardenia radicans.  No mowing and limited pruning, the garden created is to be enjoyed more than maintained.
GLEBE3

Overall the project is a great success. The client has a functional and low maintenance garden that maximises the space available in a style that suits the building and area of Glebe.

GLEBE4

Written by Nick Mason.

building green

GREEN BUILDINGS OF THE WORLD

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Uncategorized | No Comments

GREEN BUILDINGS OF THE WORLD

 

We all feel the same way when another high-ride gets approved. It’s heartbreaking to see our landscape swallowed up by concrete. BUT it’s not all bad news; some amazing architects have decided to do something about it & the Kyora team are SO on board!!

Check out these 3 amazing designs by Architects around the world.

 

Central Park – Sydney

Designed by Patrick BlancOne Central Park features 23 green walls – Comprised of 120,000 native Australian plants and spread over 1,200 square metres, the Central Park building vertical garden in Sydney, Australia was designed to be a beautiful addition to the city and park below. Via – TENSILE


Clearpoint Residences – Sri Lanka

Clearpoint Residencies designed with a clear goal in mind: To provide its occupants the very best of sustainable living, whilst setting a benchmark for future high-rise developments. This includes ensuring a structure that survives the test of time and has minimum impact on the adjacent environs, while simultaneously providing a pleasant and secure environment for owners.Upon completion, it will be the country’s first truly sustainable high-rise and the world’s tallest vertical garden. Located just a few minutes from the heart of Colombia


Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) – Milan, Italy

Named Bosco Verticale because each tower houses trees between three and six meters which help mitigate smog and produce oxygen. Also used to moderate temperatures in the building in the winter and summer. Officially opened in October 2014, Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) is a pair of award-winning residential towers in the Porta Nuova district of Milan, Italy designed by Boeri Studio (Stefano Boeri, Gianandrea Barreca and Giovanni La Varra).


Don’t want to travel all the way to Milan or Columbia? Fair enough… While you’re checking out Central Park in Sydney follow this link to see all of the Sydney green walls & green buildings we know of, that should keep you busy until next time!

LINK: A GREEN SYDNEY

ENJOY!

flower

WTF?! WHAT’S THAT FLOWER?

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants, Turf | No Comments

Welcome to the Kyora flower blog!

WTF? (What’s That Flower)

For all you’ll need to know about the flowers of the week!

If you want the most amazing fragrance throughout your garden through July/August, Michelia alba is for you. A medium sized tree growing to a maximum 10 metres in height!

The White champaca has glossy lime green leaves and reasonably discreet, creamy white flowers. Michelia alba thrives in a subtropical climate meaning keeping the soil moist and well drained will ensure the success of this plant. Keep an eye out for these fragrant beauties, once you have seen one and noticed the fragrance, we bet you smell the next one you find before you see it!!


Written By Nick Mason

PROGRESS 2

GLEBE – JOB PROGRESS 2

By | Garden, Landscaping, Plants, Turf, Uncategorized | No Comments

GLEBE PROGRESS – PART 2


Having met with the client and provided our thoughts, vision & recommendations we proceeded to quote the proposed works and we were swiftly awarded the project.
The initial part of the project is the demolition and removal of waste materials. This always has high impact as a large amount of change can occur in a very short time. With no room for a skip bin our next best option; Removal by bulka bag. The bulka bags hold 1 cubic meter of materials. This way we divided materials into mixed waste bags (sand, soil, roots and stumps and any general rubbish that is dug up) recyclable materials (bricks,tiles and concrete) and vegetation. They also supply a pick up service when the bags ready for disposal.  Rather than throwing away the bricks, knowing we needed to construct a new brick wall we decided to keep all to re-use them.

DURING

 
Once all demolition material was removed we were able to set out the locations of the new walls, new entrance path and bench seat. From this setout we could also confirm the plan to provide the garden with adequate drainage. An existing storm water pipe was located and we could connect a new drainage pit for the artificial turf area to this.
Footings poured, walls constructed, walls rendered, tessellated tiles installed. The job was taking shape and with limited room to move, the project had been coordinated so there weren’t too many people on site. With the bench seat install also came the artificial turf. The garden was coming together with countless passers by all astonished by what we were achieving in such a small area.
Soil and plants soon followed and the garden sprung to life. It’s amazing what a few plants can do to transform a work site into a garden. Enjoy the photos below as the construction site evolves into a nearly completed garden. The completed of this job will be revealed in the next installment…..

 Written By – Nick Mason
Aloe Vera (FLOWER)

WTF?! WHAT’S THAT FLOWER

By | Garden, Greenwall, Landscaping, Plants | No Comments

Welcome to the Kyora flower blog!

WTF? (What’s That Flower)

For all you’ll need to know about the flowers of the week!

Aloe plants provide a surprisingly bright display come winter and you’ll see them out now! Shooting up spires of most commonly reds, oranges and yellows, the Aloe plant is a hardy plant that can be easily mistaken as a boring succulent. They are indeed far from this!
Aloes come in many shapes and sizes. Most commonly found in many gardens and pots across Sydney is the Aloe vera plant. More popular for its healing properties than its flower, it too will send up an interesting display of deep orange. A couple of varieties that produce a great floral display include the Aloe ferox and the Aloe arborescens. A versatile plant, Aloes can be used in cottage gardens, rockeries, coastal gardens as well as succulent/xeriscape gardens. The  Aloe tree (Aloe barberae) can be used as a stunning specimen plant. Growing into a tree like habit to a maximum height of as much as 18m!!!

Aloes prefer full sun and good drainage. They can grow right on the coast and require limited watering, as little as once a month.
flower
Look out for the stunning spires of the Aloe plants as you drive around this winter and look to include some in your garden where you can!

Written by Nick Mason

5 FAVOURITE PALMS FOR SYDNEY GARDENS

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Are you searching for the perfect palm?
Although Sydney does not have a tropical climate that is generally associated with palms, they can still thrive all over Sydney. Kyora Landscapes has 5 favourite palms that will grow especially well in the temperate climate of Sydney. Each have different features and uses in a garden and are unique in their own special way. Below are Kyora’s top 5 Palms listed from the largest to the smallest growing.


Bangalow Palm – Archontophoenix cunninghamiana

With either a single trunk and commonly multiple trunks, the Bungalow palm is very common around Sydney. It can grow up to 25 metres high so many sure you are aware of this prior to planting!! Bungalow palms are generally quite fast growing. They do require a good amount of water to thrive. Bungalow palms like most palms are reasonably low maintenance, requiring the removal of dead fronds as the naturally peel off the trunk. A good palm if a tall canopy is desired with a clear trunk.

 

Kentia Palm – Howea forsteriana

Growing to 18m tall, the Kentia palm is a slower growing, single stem palm. Some may look like multi stems but these are other individual plants growing in close proximity to each other. Kentia palms can tolerate low light conditions up to full sun exposure. Kentia’s are also commonly used as indoor plants and are low maintenance. A great palm that won’t get too big too quick, and you’ll have plenty of room around its trunk for underplanting and a medium canopy to protect the understory planting.

Golden cane Palm – Dypsis lutescens

A clumping palm, the Golden cane palm will send up numerous trunks not just one main trunk like the Bungalow and Kentia. With a maximum height of approximately 12 metres high, the Golden Cane palm is great to achieve a good level of screening. Also low maintenance with the occasional removal of dead leaves. If grown in lower light, the leaves will be more green than gold in colour, but when planted in full sun, the leaves will be a yellow/gold colour.
The golden cane can be grown indoor or outdoors. For all you need to know about the benefits of indoor plants read last months blog!

Rhapis Palm – Rhapis excelsa

Also a clumping palm, the Rhapis palm sends our numerous stems of glossy green, fan like leaves which create a stunning lush screen if required. It grows to approximately 3-4 metres high. The Rhapis palm grows best in part shade conditions as well as indoors. If grown in full sun, the leaves will turn yellow. A low maintenance plant with the occasional brown leaf to remove. Definitely a favourite palm when planted in the right location.

 

Cascade Palm – Chamaedorea atrovirens

CASCADE
The Cascade palm can look like a miniature green version of the Golden cane palm. A great little clumping palm growing no higher than 2 metres high! the Cascade palm grows well indoors, in shady areas of the garden and can also tolerate sun if plenty of water is available. A good, low maintenance, compact palm that won’t get too big.
So there you have it! If you’re looking to create a tropical feel to your garden, a few palm trees is the place to start. Remember when it comes time to select a palm for your garden, refer to Kyora Landscapes Top 5 Palms that will grow well in Sydney and you can’t go wrong!

Written by Nick Mason.