Spring has sprung

Our backyard in spring.Bryce’s arrival in early October was perfect timing. Gone were the cold nights and frosty mornings – we were opening up the windows and bi-folds to enjoy the warmer temperatures and cool breezes. So was our garden.

This winter was, by all accounts, an unusually cold winter. Our neighbour counted 21 frosty mornings this year (at one point 5 consecutive days!), compared to 6 the year prior. While cozy when sitting by the fire, it’s not ideal for the garden. But with that said, our plants did surprisingly well considering the requirements for a tropical garden. The casualties can be counted on just one hand.

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Hibiscus

Black and White Hibiscus

“Sometimes, black and white just works better.”

Drought tolerant, tropical landscaping

Grand Hyatt Kauai lobby

Often you model the ‘theme’ of your home based around a holiday destination or even an event/time in your life. In our case, this involved both – we were in Hawai’i for both our engagement and wedding. So, naturally we wanted a home that had a similar landscape. But in water conscious areas of the world, a tropical garden is often considered to be bad form. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t have to be.

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How does landscaping add to the value of your home?

Quality LandscapingAs we start our never-ending task of landscaping our home, I did a bit of research around the benefits of having a well landscaped home. Needless to say, the benefits significantly outweigh any pain and hardship you might endure doing it yourself.

There are few home improvements that a homeowner can undertake that add as much increased value and marketability to a property as dramatically as landscaping does. Landscaping provides a number of remarkable benefits.

According to studies (likely funded by landscaping companies), landscaping can actually increase property value by 14 to 20 percent. A simple landscaped patio can add an additional 12.4 percent to the value of a home. Even smaller projects can raise the value of the property significantly; landscaped curbs add up to 4.4 percent in value and the addition of hedges raises value by as much as 3.6 percent. Landscaped properties also sell an average of six weeks faster.

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Feeling Balmy? – Metricon’s Studio M

Balinese garden designAs Megan and I approach our yard with a relatively basic idea of the type of landscaping we’d like, we still find ourselves looking for inspiration from whatever source we can find. We’ve decided to try and reproduce a sustainable, yet tropical landscape, and while we look to Hawai’i for the inspiration, it’s inevitable that here in Australia most of the tropical design tends to come from Bali. The Balinese culture has had a huge impact on interior decorating within Australia for many years – and the trend just keeps getting stronger.

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