Category Archives: south east queensland landscapers

Landscaping Tips And Ideas

Getting the house of your dreams is one of the most satisfying and rewarding experiences for any homeowner. This is especially the case as you have the upper hand in making the necessary changes to make the place your own comfort zone. This is in fact the reason why it is always a challenge to keep everything neat and in order at all times.

Many homeowners find it easy to arrange the interior of their house. However, it becomes quite a task to arrange the outside. So, how can you manage to arrange the landscape of the house as good as the inside? Here are some landscaping tips to help you make the best out of your garden.

1.    Create A Sketch Of The Garden You Want
This should be the first step since everything starts here. This can be as simple as writing everything down on a piece of paper. Make sure you draw a simple sketch of what you want to the garden to look like. It is also good if you label all the parts of the landscape and the materials in it accordingly. Remember that the more specific you get with your plan, the easier it will be for you when actually implementing the plan.

The purpose of all this is to give you a clear idea of how your garden should look like after the makeover. Seek advice from your spouse, kids, and relevant people to elaborate on your plan. You can also do some research online and get sample designs from the various landscaping websites. You can also cut off some pictures from the various modern gardening and landscaping magazines so that you get several design ideas to go with your plan.

2.    Set The Budget For Your Project
Do not break your wallet due to failed planning. Create an informed budget and do a quick research online to find out from suppliers how much you will need for an item. In most cases, most garden landscaping websites usually link you to their suppliers. It is good to check these out and then refer to your sketch and set your working budget.

3.    Try to Get The Best Deals
Just as you wait for a sale, you can do the same when sourcing your supplies for your landscaping project. This can be done by clipping coupons that you get hold of in order to get some additional deals even for the basic landscaping materials and tools. It is possible to score deals on trees, plant varieties, shrubs, soil, perennials, and other necessary supplies. This can come in handy especially if you want to do the landscaping project with your family on a weekend. However, if you want a professional to do the work for you, read on the next tip.

4.    Get Professional Landscaping Help
If you want to bring your desired landscaping project into reality soon, only a professional landscaper can offer you this possibility. This is because they offer a team of trained gardeners that have already handled many landscape management projects for their clients. This means they have the experience and they can finish the project in no time.

It is a good idea to ask for referrals from your friends, relatives, and neighbors and ask them for extra landscaping tips. They can possibly give you some tips on how to cut down your expenditure on the project as well as how you can get a better deal from these sources.

5.    Consider your Environment
For successful results, it is recommended that you find out which plants will do well in your climate throughout the year. Of course, some of these plants will do better in some months and worse in others. However, you want something that is always going to look attractive in your garden. Visit your local garden center and find out the best plants for your project. If this won’t work, do some research online and from books to find out more about the plants and flowers of choice.

A well kept home involve taking care of both the outside and interior parts of it. In this case, aside from ensuring that your interior is well organized, it is better to actually check out your garden and use these landscaping tips to make a makeover soon.

7 Landscaping Ideas

High quality landscaping can turn a yard full of odd looking bushes and grass in to an interesting and high-quality garden with the help of right landscape design. When it comes to landscaping, there is no dearth of ideas as one has access to a number of good ideas thanks to the Internet. You can easily search through a variety of different websites to get these ideas.

There are thousands of websites dedicated to the art of landscaping, where professional and experienced landscaping artists share their own ideas and experiences with particular designs and choice of various plants, focus pieces and other things in specific areas. Here is a list of 7 landscaping ideas that can add a lot of variety to your garden. Use these 7 landscaping ideas to design a completely unique and amazing garden.

Walkways Can Add a Lot to the Looks of Your Garden

Walkways made of concrete or loose stones are one of the most inexpensive ways to landscape your garden. Walkways can be used for walking in the evening or for a relaxed night stroll. There are a number of different types of stones that can be used for making the walkways. For instance, you may use crushed stone or small river stone to create that walkway.

It is important to edge the walkway in the right manner to ensure that the stones do not move over the other grassy areas. Also, there is a lot of advice available on the Internet for free to use the stones in completely unique designs to create a unique looking garden.

Use Unique Planting Designs

It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money on plantings to create a beautiful design. There are a number of cheap trees, shrubs and flowers available today that can help you create that beautiful looking garden at a low cost.

You may use smaller trees that are high quality and do not cost much. Trees help in breaking up the monotony created by shrubs. Similarly, evergreen shrubs help in bulking up and providing greenery during the winter months. There are many inexpensive varieties of shrubs available today.

Create Retaining Walls

There are a number of different types of retaining walls that can be created in a number of designs for landscaping. In fact, most of the professional landscaping artists make use of retaining walls in a completely unique manner to add to the beauty of the garden. There are a lot of different ideas available on the net to help you make a retaining wall in the garden.

Make Use of Cheap Fencing

It wonít be wrong to say that fencing can add a lot of a value to your garden. There are many different types of fencing materials available today that are not only cheap but also add to the looks of your garden. For instance, you may use fencing made of bamboo or some other inexpensive material that not only have offers privacy but also enhances the looks.

Take Inspiration from the Nature around You

Internet is not the only source that you can use to get some really amazing and inspiring landscaping ideas. Ideally, you should look around and take inspiration from the nature. For instance, you may include flowers, shrubs and stones that are locally available at a low cost and also look good.

Add an Island Bed

You may also add an Island bed in the middle of your garden to enhance the looks of already great looking garden. These not only add height to the middle of your garden but also add a bit of mystery to the overall landscape.

Dress up the Driveway

If your driveway is not attractive, you can always make use of light coloured plants and materials to hide it. One of the best places to take attention away from the driveway is to create a raised island in the middle of your garden. You may add various flowers and plants to the island so that it completely takes attention away from the driveway.

Overall, there is no shortage of landscaping ideas these days. There are a number of different websites that offer high quality landscape ideas. You are not just limited to the 7 landscaping ideas mentioned above as you may also use various magazines on the subject.

While deciding upon the design of your landscape, it is also important to keep in mind the maintenance requirements of the garden. Maintenance takes a lot of time and effort and your garden wonít keep looking amazing if you do not maintain it properly.

Drought Resistant Plants

Is water a scarce resource where you live? Or maybe you want to create an environment-friendly garden? If so, drought resistant plants will be a great idea. These wonderful plants require very little water and they can make your landscaping much more attractive.

Wondering about the top 10 drought resistant plants? Hereís a list to consider.

Yarrow
Apart from being incredibly heat-tolerant and needing only small amounts of water, yarrow requires little to no maintenance and care. It produces beautiful yellow flowers that will make the garden stunning even in the absence of water.

Yarrow is a great companion plant for crops. Many pests, rabbits and deer arenít going to come near this plant. Apart from being beautiful to look at, yarrow has some practical advantages, as well.

Sunset Strain
Included in the list of top 10 drought resistant plants, sunset strain is a California native. The evergreen plant produces beautiful and delicate flowers.

Keep in mind that youíll have to put a bit of effort in guaranteeing excellent drainage for this plant. This is one of the main reasons why sunset strain is a wonderful pick for rock gardens.

Daylilies
Daylilies are perennials and they are especially recognized for the versatility that they provide. These delicate flowers come in a range of bright colors, making them ideal for landscaping purposes.

Daylilies grow in all kinds of soils. They donít require a lot of water to blossom and the care for these plants is minimal. Even individuals that have never gardened before will find it incredibly easy to grow daylilies and enjoy the beautiful flowers.

Sedum
This is another plant that comes in numerous varieties, all of these having excellent drought-resistance qualities. The leaves change their appearance from spring to autumn, which is another interesting sedum characteristic. Sedum requires sun and well-drained soil to grow.

Lavender
Known for its beautiful and aromatic flowers, lavender can be grown in gardens that arenít watered too often.

Lavender is a perennial shrub that can grow in all types of soil. It may even have a little bit of preference for sand and gravel. You donít need to pay special attention to the lavender plants. An occasional cut will be needed to maintain the form of the plant but thatís it!

Flowering Quince
The plant is mainly known for the vibrant, spectacular red blossoms. Flowering quince doesnít require a lot of water. In fact, if the summer is particularly dry and the autumn is rainy, youíll probably enjoy some late bloom.

Flowering quince can reach a height of up to eight feet. It requires a lot of sunshine and well-drained soil.

Chaste Tree
This is another beautiful shrub requiring very little water. Chaste tree can range in height from eight to 15 feet and it requires a lot of sun. The cone-shaped, purple flowers have a spectacular scent, which is one of the main reasons for the popularity of chaste tree.

Chaste tree is also available in white and pink varieties, in case you want to diversify the purple a little bit. This plant attracts hummingbirds, as well as butterflies. It requires little to no maintenance.

Sundrops
Cheerful, yellow and delicate ñ these flowers are a wonderful addition to every garden.

Sundrops will continue blossoming from spring to early fall. Donít plant these beautiful flowers in rich soil because they can become aggressive and spread out extensively.

Purple Coneflower
These flowers have a slightly unusual appearance but they can be used to diversify just about any garden. Purple coneflowers are very resilient perennials that require little water and little care. Even if you arenít particularly focused on keeping your garden in the best possible condition, youíll get dozens of purple blossoms that will attract numerous butterflies.

Purple coneflowers prefer a lot of sun and well-drained soil. When planted in these conditions, the coneflowers will reach a maximum height of five feet.

American Beautyberry
This North American native produces small pink berries in large clusters. The color of these berries is incredibly attractive and they will persist until the autumn, giving your garden a bit of decorative flare.

American Beautyberries also have dark green leaves and delicate white flowers in the spring. The plants prefer partial shade. The soil should be rich and fertile. Make sure that it is also particularly well drained.

This was our top 10 drought resistant plants list. Choose the varieties and the colors that correspond to your preferences and your lifestyle. Your experience and the amount of time you can dedicate to gardening will also be determining.

Retaining walls over 1 metre high

Does your landscape project require a retaining wall higher than 1 metre? If so you there are some things that you will need to be aware of, such as; the wall will require a building approval; the wall will require an engineering drawing; the contractor you engage to build the wall will need to be licensed with the QBCC as a Builder Restricted to Structural Landscaping. The contractor you engage should be aware of these things and be able to include the costs for the engineer and certifier in quotation for the works to be done.

Engineers details will vary on a site by site basis. Therefore every retaining wall should have it’s own specific engineering detail.  your contractor should have an engineer that they work with regularly and can discuss the best solution for your particular project. This will ensure that your retaining wall is properly engineered to last without  expensive  over engineering.

Building approvals are usually dealt with by a private certifier. If your contractor has a working relationship with a certifier it will reduce the time taken for the building approvals to be completed. Some of the more tricky approvals can take weeks or even months if they require things such as; build over sewer; build over stormwater; relaxation. The quicker all these things are sorted out the quicker your project can be started.

The contractor you engage should be able to tell you who they use for  their engineering and certification. They should be able to provide you with more than one option for the construction of the retaining wall, i.e concrete sleeper, timber sleeper, besser block, linkwall block. Each product has its own method of construction and design features that will be either better suited or not suited at all for your landscaping project.

options for retaining

Concrete sleeper/steel post 

                                                                              A very durable option that takes up a minimum amount of room. Fencing can also be attached to the wall posts meaning the wall and fence are all in alignment. This is a very structurally sound way of building a retaining wall/fence combination. Many of the concrete sleeper options now come coloured and/or patterned, this means that the aesthetic appearance of the product has improved greatly.

Timber sleeper  

                                                                                                             Similar to concrete sleeper walls in the construction method however timber does not have the durability of concrete and steel. Timber walls are one of the cheapest forms of retaining so if budget is your main concern they may be worth looking at. One option to consider is the use of galvanised steel posts with timber rails, this way the posts are reusable when the timber perishes, making the cost of repair/replacement of wall much cheaper. The timber used should be a minimum of 75mm hardwood sleepers, this will ensure that you get the best longevity out of your timber retaining wall.

Link wall   

                                                                                                                           Link walls are a very durable retaining wall system. Being a masonry product they last for a very long time. There is a great selection of block styles and colours to choose from so that you will be able to choose something that compliments your landscaping. Link walls are very good where a curve is required and can also be used for straight lines. Because link walls are a gravity system of retaining wall the weight of the blocks aids in the retaining, allowing for smaller footing than many other retaining wall systems. This can be very useful if the footings for your retaining wall are going into rock or large excavations are not possible.  Link walls are not always the answer though because they require some room to be constructed properly, generally around 500 – 800mm.

Besser Block     

                                                                                                              Besser blocks are great for formal retaining areas front fence/retaining wall combinations or any situation that requires a truly vertical wall. Usually finished with render or stone cladding they add aesthetic value to any landscaping project. A core filled block retaining wall that has been constructed properly is one of the most durable systems of retaining. Two things that should be considered are that block walls are very expensive to construct and they require large footings, meaning extensive excavation is required.

Construction  

                                                                                                          Remember to check your contractors details and their class of license, it should be Builder Restricted to Structural Landscape for walls over 1m high.                                                                                                   Ensure that your contractor can deal with all aspects of the project, including the engagement of certifiers and engineers.                             Make sure that your contractor provides you with all your options so that you receive the best possible finish both structurally and aesthetically for your landscape project.

Retaining wall with fence

 

 

 

Often retaining walls are situated on the boundary line of a property. This means that they are also in alignment with the boundary fence. This can create some interesting challenges to ensure that the you get the best possible solution. If you are considering a project in the Gold Coast, South Brisbane region I hope you find the following article of assistance.

Types of construction

The first step is the selection of wall and fence type. One of the most common solutions is a sleeper retaining wall, either timber or concrete sleeper with a timber or colour bond fence. Any combination of wall and fence will allow for both to be built inline with the boundary, saving space and providing the best structural solution. There are other options of retaining walls and fencing however they may not suit all situations or be practical at all when considering the construction of a retaining wall/fence combination in alignment with a boundary. Other options may take up too much room, not allow for the fence to be fitted properly or not be able to be constructed in a manner that is structurally sound.

Considerations

Once the selection of construction method of the wall and fence has been selected there are further considerations in relation to approvals, certification and council requirements. Such considerations would include things like; is the retaining wall/fence combination going to exceed the minimum height that is required for a relaxation; will the retaining wall/fence combination cross a sewer or stormwater line; will the height of the retaining wall exceed one metre. If the wall exceeds one metre in height it will require an engineers design. The design will need to comply with the relevant Australian Standards. All of these potential issues can and should  be addressed by you contractor.

Choosing a contractor

Choosing your contractor may be the most difficult part of your project. The outcome of your project will depend on their experience and capabilities.                                                                                 Your contractor should:- be licensed correctly with QBCC, any retaining wall over 1 metre in height will require that the contractor hold a Builder Restricted to Structural Landscape  license.   -Should be able to provide references from recent clients.  -Be able to demonstrate that they have the knowledge about various methods of construction to ensure you endupwiththebestpossible outcome.  -Be able to engage an engineer/certifier on your behalf and deal with all relevant approvals.  – Be able to produce all relevant insurances, especially in relation to subcontractors and working adjacent to roads. You/your insurance may be held responsible if you engage a contractor who does not have the relevant insurance and there is an accident.   -Maybe the most important thing to consider is to make sure that you feel comfortable with your choice of contractor.                        -Care about your landscape project more than you do.

Many of the larger companies provide a one size fits all solution to your landscaping project. Their main point of difference is that they can build your retaining wall/fence “cheaply”. They only use/sell one method of construction and will contract out your work to anyone they can get to do it for the “right price”. The salesman you dealt with initially takes no further part in you project. This usually means that you end up with an inferior final product that could have been avoided if you had the correct contractor to begin with. Sometimes the little bit extra it costs to deal with someone who cares about your project and will ensure you get the best possible outcome will be the best money you spend on the whole job.

The owner of Bluestone Landscaping has been building retaining walls/fences and landscaping on the Gold coast for the past twenty five years. We at Bluestone Landscaping would love to have the opportunity to provide a quotation for your project. Let us take the hassle out of your retaining wall/fence project. We can provide you with the best solutions, deal with all the engineering and approval requirements and we are fully licensed and insured.

Thank you if you have managed to read this far, I hope that you have found some value in this article. We would love to hear from you if you require and further assistance/quotation for your retaining wall/fence project.

7 Landscaping Tips You Should Know

Are you looking to plant new things on your yard? Are you looking to start your own garden in your backyard? Whatever the case, here are the top 7 landscaping tips you should know. There are lots of decisions that go into landscaping and for a newbie, it can be quite overwhelming. However, with the right guidance you will have a fresh idea on where to start and continue from there. Certainly there are more than 7 landscaping tips that can come in handy in any situation but these are just the start.

1.    Make A List Of The Top Priorities

If you have a large yard, you might need to write down a list of what you need or want. For instance, are you looking to install a patio? Do you need to start growing vegetables in your backyard? Or do your kids need some space for their recreational activities? Before you get down to work, you could try making some sketches of what will go where and how to achieve everything on your list of priorities. Remember, nothing has been written on the wall yet but rather, these are just rough sketches of what your yard will look like. You can play around with the sketches till you have the right design for your landscape. Even better, you can ask for advice from people in your close circle or even professional landscapers.

2.    Studying The Weather And Climate Patterns

Certainly, if you are looking to add a patio in the backyard, you need to study the wind or sun patterns. The patio needs to be completely sheltered against any direct sunlight without compromising on the whole design or idea. Also, if you are looking to install a barbecue pit in your yard, you certainly need to study the wind patterns otherwise you will never be able to light up the grill. These are some of the few mistakes that beginners to landscaping often make. However, if you have studied the behavior of these natural elements throughout the year, you should have no problem.

3.    Avoid Making Rash Decisions

For most homeowners, the joy of having the best landscaping designs and ideas come to life can be quite overwhelming. However in the rush of installing these ideas, eventually the long term appearance isn’t good enough. Therefore, take a few months before installing anything and picture how your yard will look once its completed. With these ideas in your mind, you can go ahead and start working on your yard.

4.    Avoid Extravagant Or Giant Landscaping Ideas

If you have been watching the home makeover shows on TV, you are likely to get enticed by the large landscaping ideas and embark on the same road. However, unlike these shows, you don’t have a large crew to make your backyard ideas come to life. Therefore, don’t be extravagant especially if you don’t have the time and space in your backyard. Take your time and avoid sloppy landscaping mistakes that will haunt you forever.

5.    Find A Focal Point And Start There

With a new house and backyard, there are bound to be many landscaping ideas that come to mind. However, you definitely need to start somewhere in order for your ideas to come to life. That’s why it’s important to find a focal point and start there. Whether it’s a sculpture or a water feature, you can work around that and develop your yard according to your designs.

6.    Proper Spacing And Scaling

Definitely, your yard will have an exceptional look if you take into account proper scale and spacing. If there are any water features or sculptures in your garden, make sure everything is spaced perfectly for the best overall look. Don’t forget to add some cohesion by repeating some shapes, plants, colors or anything else that adds some edge to the whole design.

7.    Be Open To Changing Some Things

There are new landscaping ideas, tricks and designs that are revealed every new day so you should be open to changing your original ideas to accommodate new ones any time of the day.

As a beginner to landscaping, always practice patience. Nothing will fall into place upon the first try but with these amazing 7 landscaping tips, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Gold Coast Fences and Retaining Walls

Building a retaining wall with a fence attached can be a tricky project.
What type of wall?
What type of fence?
Will the retaining wall require a council approval?
Will the combination of fence and retaining wall attract a relaxation?
These are all questions that need to be asked and answered before the project is started. Consider that there are many combinations of fence/retaining wall constructions. Not all are suited to every situation and all should be considered. If you are considering such a project make sure your contractor can quote more than one option i.e:-

-timber fence / concrete sleeper
-timber fence / timber sleeper
-colour bond fence / concrete sleeper
-colour bond fence / block wall
-powder coated aluminium / block wall
and so on.

Make sure the contractor you choose is licensed with the QBCC to perform the works. Make sure that the contractor is aware of the relevant legislation regarding the construction of fence/retaining wall constructions. If you do your homework you should end up with a successful project that will add value to your property for years to come.

Low Maintenence Gold Coast Landscaping

We are often asked,” can we create a landscape that requires no maintenence?”. The simple answer is no. All landscaping will require some maintenece, unless your happy with a mess of weeds and overgrown shrubs.  Low miantenence landscaping is achievable however, even with the water restrictions we experience in South East Queensland. Properly selected plant material, application of quality soil and water retention agents, correct application of mulch and  gravel, and the use of  quality turf or synthetic grass are some of the answers to the challenge. Combined with the use of procucts that are durable and construction methods that will endure, it is possible to cretate a landscape that will require minimum maintenence.

At Bluestone Landscaping,  www.bluestonelandscaping.com.au ,we have the knowledge and expierience to create a landscape solution that answers the challenges of requiring minimum maintenece and allowing our clients to have more time to enjoy their weekends.

Finding A Reputable Gold Coast Landscape Contractor

There a plenty of people out there who are present themselves as landscapers, however potential customers need to be aware not all is as it seems. So how can you tell if you are engaging the services of a reputable contractor or some “fly by nighter”, who will change their phone number once your job is finished.
1.Check their BSA trade license. Make sure the license is for the correct trade i.e structural landscaping. Make sure the name on the card matches the name of the company / individual you are dealing with. Make sure you get a signed contract for the work to be carried out.
2.Ask for trade references and check them out. View the contractors previous projects.
3.Don’t fall for the cheapest price. Call for more than one quote and compare the description of works and price quoted. ASK QUESTIONS!

Gold Coast Value For Money Landscaping

Value For Money Landscaping

Consider a client who decides to take on their own landscape project. They engage various contractors to complete different stages of works. Looking for the best price they call three quotes for each stage of works, being earthworks, fencing, retaining walls, concreting, paving and turf and gardens.

That is 18 quotes, that alone is a job and a half. With all the quotes in the construction costs look reasonable and it would appear that the project will be completed well within the budget. However no one considered drainage, waste removal, the quotes didn’t include required approvals and so on. The extras bill will quickly add up and start to stretch the budget.

However the biggest cost is to the finish of the landscape project, unless the whole project is considered from the start the final finish may be a bit like a jigsaw with a few pieces missing, it just doesn’t work!!

The answer is to engage the services of a qualified landscape contractor to complete your landscape project. At Bluestone Landscaping we are licensed builders restricted to structural landscaping. That means that whilst we handle most aspects of landscaping in house we can also directly engage other contractors to complete any landscape project.

Our clients only need to make one call to us to complete their landscaping. One contract, one job, one uniform finish and real value for the money spent on their landscaping. So if you are considering landscaping in the Gold Coast / Sth East Queensland region please contact us at Bluestone Landscaping.