Saturday, October 8, 2011

House & Garden Magazine

I'm excited that our business is featured in November's issue of Australian House & Garden Magazine :

“ Landscape Designs should express everything you’d like your garden to be “

Claire works closely with her clients to translate their ideas on paper. This results in personalised plans which allow gardens to be created in stages without compromising the final effect.

A big thanks to my sister Amber Simcoe from DeRay&Simcoe for taking the professional photographs for this article. Here are some more photos from the shoot that our client kindly allowed us to take. This particular garden in Dalkeith was designed by us two years ago. It was constructed by Leon and his team from Gradient Landscapes a year ago.

Front Garden : The owners of this property wanted to give their house more street appeal without having to change the facade of the house itself. This meant that the landscaping needed to work with the existing face brick-work. They also added a modern garage door to complete the look.

Paving Types : Natural Granite Paving and Cobblestones were used as an inlay to break up a large area of Hanson Imagecrete Exposed in ' Classic Rose '

Retaining Wall : A rendered brick retaining wall was built to create a level area of paving next to the house as a parking spot for a trailer. Dwarf Dianella softens it.

Planting : A three layered garden bed of Dwarf Pittosporum,Viburnum and Flowering Plum Trees . These will grow to screen the neighbour's existing retaining wall.

Play Areas : Having a large family meant plenty of spaces for play was a high priority. We created a stepping stone area as a platform for a large spring-free trampoline.

Alfresco Area : An outdoor kitchen was installed in the back garden, complete with an oven. The steps, screen / feature wall, deck and lighting were all new elements incorporated into this garden renovation. New fencing and a pool area make-over were also part of this project.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Perth School Kitchen Garden Tour

Last month I took part in a Perth school garden tour of local primary schools participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

Our first stop was East Maddington Primary School where the students kindly gave us a guided tour under very wet conditions. No watering was going to be needed in the garden that day! 

The teachers encourage as many garden related educational activities as possible. Here the children have been involved in both recycling and garden sculpture.

At Westfield Park Primary School we were very impressed by their Aquaponics System.It's not hard to see how science can be fun when it's taught with such a hands-on approach. Apparently the kids favourite task is removing caterpillars from the vegetables.

Cooking, gardening and learning go hand in hand in these schools. Organisation is especially important in the kitchen when children this young are cooking. They're surprisingly skilled and capable.

At Bertram Primary they have a large garden to ensure they have enough produce and teaching area for their many pupils. Even so the schools require donations of fruit and vegetables to subsidise what they can grow.

This is where we enjoyed a freshly prepared organic lunch which was served proudly to us by the students themselves. The schools have an adult kitchen helper and a garden helper who coordinate the growing and cooking. These are not necessarily teachers, but specialists in their field.

Lunch :  Roast pumpkin and feta pies / chicken kofta  / spinach, oven-roasted tomato and bocconcini salad with eggplant couscous. Yes, it was as delicious as it sounds!

Spearwood Alternative School have a very modern and colourful teaching kitchen. The children told us stories about stinging nettles and the exciting plans that they have for their garden.

Palmyra Primary School is the only school that haven't opted for retained raised beds which shows that a kitchen garden can still be achieved without them. Many of the schools have compost systems and keep chickens.

Here is the SAKGF write up of the occasion :