Japanese / Oriental Style :
Just a bit bias on this one. It's owned by close friends of ours and I played a part in its development, offering suggestions whenever I could. The ground used to slope towards the house so this was retained. They're now enjoying a lawn free, low maintenance garden. Plants in this photo include Thuja ( foreground ), Prunus ( trees ), Juniper ( groundcover ) and Dianella ( grass ).
Modern Mediterranean Look :
Very simple yet effective. The repetition of terracotta shades really works well here.There are only three main plants used. The rather large Yuccas, potted palms and a hedging plant which I didn't get close enough to identify.
Again simplicity at it's best. I really like the contrast between the two hedging plants on the upper level ( Lilly Pilly and Japanese Box ). Two Lilly Pilly lollipop topiarys mark a central stairway. Liriopes are planted along the base of the wall which curves nicely along the driveway. A Tipuana Tree shades the lawn. This garden is always well kept and tidy which is admirable.
All Natives :
It's rare to see a garden that is planted with purely natives and even rarer to see one that has been well planned. This one is on a corner block and extends around two sides of a two storey house. There is a gradual increase in height from the verge with ground covers along the edge and taller plants towards the back. This is important on a corner block to maintain views for motorists. Another lawn free garden, this one gets my vote for being both water wise and attractive. My only criticism would be a lack of colour. There was only one red flowering shrub in flower at the moment.
So there you have it - a designer's perspective on some local gardens.
I imagine all of these would have been made on fairly modest budgets so if they can do it - so can you!