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Turf

Pratia pedunculata

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!

Pratia pedunculata is not a plant that will jump out at you and say, ‘Here I am! Look at me!’ But, it is a plant flowering right now that when you take notice, it will draw you in for a much closer inspection. Dainty and cute are the words that come to mind when I see this small ground cover plant doing its thing.

Pratia pedunculata
Growing no taller than 10 cm high, this creeping plant is perfect for in between pavers or rockeries. I actually have it planted with Dichondra repens in newest stepping stones and the two mix and intertwine exceptionally well to create a stunning combination ground over. Trailing Pratia has small, almost heart shaped leaves and when flowering, has small white star shaped flowers. Pratia can take full sun to part shade so be warned, when this little plant finds a spot it likes, it can tend to creep and spread quite quickly. Pratia prefers a moist soil and if too dry will totally shrivel up.
Take note of this little sprawler and look out for it in flower now. If you can’t find it in a garden near you, it’s a good plant to add to your own garden!

Written by Nick Mason.

CORE VALUES

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

At Kyora Landscapes, we strive to offer quality service and a quality job. We have spent some time working on the company core values to help us achieve and continue to achieve to our full potential. It may come as a surprise to hear a landscape company has these values in place, but if you read our blog on the Modern Aussie Tradie, you will understand that to be set above the rest, you need to go above and beyond what is expected.

What are Core Values & Why Have Them?

  • Core values shape the company culture they are the fundamental beliefs of the organisation
  • They are a set of guiding principles helping people understand how to behave and understand what is acceptable and what is not
  • Core values help Kyora determine if they are on the right path to fulfilling their goals by creating an unwavering guide to work too
  • Establishing strong core values provide both internal and external value to the company they let everyone know what we are all about
  • When hiring staff we look for these values this helps to ensure we are all working together
  • We can also look to match these values in potential clients we want to do work with. To align with clients that appreciate quality and who appreciate their team
  • They are a way of letting everyone know what we are all about

The Core Values of Kyora Landscapes

1) Visualise the outcome with an open mind

2) Motivation Starts with Clear Communication

3) Own It & Get It Done

4) Back Yourself & the Options are Endless

5) Appreciate the Efforts of the Team

6) A Reputation for Quality Separates us From the Rest

With these core values, clear motivation is provided for all Kyora employees to work towards. They can also provide potential clients an insight of what they can expect should they decide to work with Kyora on their landscape project. Each month, the employees of Kyora vote for the person who has best demonstrated one or more of these Core Values, further inspiring each and every individual to strive for the best for both Kyora, and them selves.

Written by Nick Mason

 

TOP 4 BAMBOO!

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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

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.

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

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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
Stuart Mercer - QUOTE

GRECH’S TURF SUPPLIES / KYORA || INTERVIEW

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Grech’s Turf / Kyora Landscapes – Interview

Beyond the lawn: garden design 101

So you want to design the landscape around your home? Perhaps it’s sat there neglected for some time, perhaps it’s a property you’ve just acquired and moved in to. Perhaps you have the landscaping choices of the past to contend with, perhaps you are starting with a blank slate. A great lawn is a great starting point for an amazing space, but there is so much you can do to make a space more inviting and functional. Either way, let’s look at some of the important questions you should ask yourself before starting a landscaping project.

We spoke to Stuart Mercer and Nick Mason from Kyora Landscapes about some of the questions you need to ask yourself before starting a landscaping project.

 

 

1. What do you want to from the space?

It might seem obvious but understanding the function of the space will help inform the direction and materials for your landscape project.
Will you use this space for:

  • BBQs and entertaining
  • Sports
  • Children’s play
  • Pets
  • Food production

Are you trying to screen out the neighbours to create a private hideaway, or do you want to open up your space to the wider world? Do you want some soft lawn under your feet to encourage children’s play, sports and create a place for pets to enjoy?

How much time, energy and money are you prepared to dedicate to your space? Do you something that is low maintenance or are you happy to make adjustments to the garden on a regular basis?

How long do you intend to live in the space? Are you getting the garden ready for a quick makeover ahead of an auction next month, or do you intend to retire and grow old in your garden oasis?

 

Stuart Mercer - QUOTE

 

Understanding the function you want the space to have is an important first step. Stuart explains, “Functionality of a garden space is of the highest priority. From the function required of a space, we can then design, create and construct anything from very simple solutions to the more innovative of design solutions.”

2. What weather conditions does the site experience?

A lot of what you can do with a landscaping site will depend on the kind of weather conditions it experiences. Think about what the kind of zone you live in. Is it:

  • Subtropical
  • Temperate
  • Tropical

Additionally think about the site itself. Do parts of your landscape get more sun than others? Are parts of the landscape shaded by trees or buildings? Does your area have long hot summers, or bitter cold frosts? Obviously these factors will play a large role in plant selection, but they will also inform other aspects of your design. If you enjoy the early morning sun, for example, you will need to make sure you don’t plant or install anything that will block that sunlight.

Stuart recommends doing some research in your local area to get a sense of what plants will work well in your space. Talk to your neighbours and friends with gardens, talk to a number of different landscapers, and go to your local nursery for information. Take photographs of plants in your local area. Remember if it grows in your neighbourhood, it will probably grow well in your space too!

Nick notes, “Plants will do their best to grow in the positions we plant them, but to get the best out of your garden for years to come, it is highly recommended to have a clear understanding of not only your local climate, but the micro-climate you have in your garden and the plants that suit your specific garden conditions, or hire someone that does.”

3. What do you want to keep from your existing landscape?

Assuming you’re not starting from a blank slate, consider the elements that already exist in your space and think about which ones you would like to keep. Is there a particular tree that offers the perfect amount of shade on a summer day, or a piece of furniture that you cherish? Do these things need to stay in their current position or is there some flexibility to rearrange these? Will they act as focal points for the landscape or would you prefer them to blend into their surroundings?

“Most commonly clients have particular plants that have meaning to them that they would love to keep or transplant,” Stuart says. “We have transplanted plants from bulbs right up to mature trees. Don’t assume because you have a tree you love in a position you hate that it can’t be relocated to a more suitable position.”

4. What is your budget?

There’s no avoiding it – you need to think about the money involved in this project. Do you intend to work with a designer or plan the work yourself? Need labourers, gardeners, specialists? Do you need to buy plants, turf, furniture, other landscaping materials? Will you need to buy or hire special equipment to get the tasks done? Remember that price point isn’t the only consideration, especially if you plan on working with a professional landscaper. Even the most humble landscaping project will take time, and it is important that you work with someone you have a good working relationship with. Has your landscaper considered the challenges and opportunities of your space? Do they have the experience to be able to make recommendations on what will work well in your space, is cost effective and stand the test of time?

Nick says, “As landscapers we are constantly working to budgets. Cheap doesn’t mean it won’t last. Re-using existing sandstone flagging for example will save the cost of buying new paving material. It can be cleaned, cut, shaped and re-laid to create a modern, functional and cost effective paving solution. We also have a good understanding of what the more expensive options are and if they are worth the higher expense. Permeable pebble paving for example is a great new product that isn’t necessarily cheap but its function and longevity can be worth the cost.”

5. What is your time frame?

When it comes to timeframes do you have a definite deadline —perhaps an open house that the landscaping needs to be finished for— or are you more flexible? How large is your project —will you need to break it up into multiple phases? Do you need an instant makeover or are you happy to let your garden develop more organically over time?

“A clear time frame for us helps us allocate the resources required to make it happen,” explains Stuart. “Time frames need to be realistic, and years of experience help us assist with what a realistic timeframe for a project is.”

6. What inspires you?

If you are designing a space for yourself it has to be incorporate things you like! Take some time to think about what inspires you and how you can incorporate that into your landscape project. Do you have an interest in native plants? Do you have a fondness for cottage gardens? Is there a style of garden that really appeals to you? Consider looking online —perhaps on Pinterest— or in magazines for ideas and inspiration, and talk to a qualified landscape gardener to find out how they can help. Not every idea you encounter will work for your or your space, but exploring a number of ideas will give you a broader palette to work with.

Nick Mason - QUOTE

 

“The more detail the better,” says Nick. “And this detail comes from both sides, from our clients and from our design and costing/estimating teams. With a clear understanding from our clients of what inspires them and what look and feel they want to create in their garden, we can then design and accurately cost the project to suit.”

7. What challenges and opportunities does the site pose?

We have already talked about the climate, sun and rainfall conditions of your site, but what other challenges and opportunities does the site pose? Does access to the site pose any challenges? Can you get heavy machinery onto the site if you require it? How is the drainage of your soil?

What is going on beneath your landscape? Remember to always dial before you dig to avoid any issues with underground pipes and cables.

“We have a client who has a natural watercourse through their garden when it rains,” explains Stuart. “Rather than fighting with nature, we suggested they embraced it and we created a stunning dry creek bed using large Nepean River pebbles and natural sandstone boulders. It looks great and functions extremely well when they have a heavy downpour.”

8. Who do you intend to work with?

Even if you intend to do all the work yourself, you will still need to deal with suppliers for landscaping supplies and plants. Find out what companies service your local area and the kind of things they can help you with. For larger jobs you may need to hire specialist equipment and experienced professionals to operate it.

If you are working with a professional landscaper, it is important to find one that suits both you and your project. It is really important to talk to many landscapers and find one that you really feel comfortable with and who can offer their expertise to help you make the right decisions.

“Finding a landscaper that is a passionate, knowledgeable and that can provide a high quality service from the initial site meeting through to the completion of a job should be a top priority,” Nick explains.  “It will make the experience one that is memorable for all the right reasons.”

Thanks to Stuart Mercer and Nick Mason from Kyora Landscapes for talking the time to talk to us. You can learn more about the services Kyora Landscapes offers by visiting their website.