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How To Design a Garden for Sydney’s Climate

Sydney has a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Rainfall is spread throughout the year. The weather is moderated by proximity to the ocean, and more extreme temperatures are recorded in the inland western suburbs.

The warmest month is January, with an average air temperature range at Observatory Hill of 18.6–25.8°C. An average of 14.6 days a year have temperatures of more than 30 °C.


In winter, temperatures rarely drop below 5 °C in coastal areas. The coldest month is July, with an average range of 8.0–16.2°C. Rainfall is fairly evenly spread through the year, but is slightly higher during the first half of the year, when easterly winds dominate.

The average annual rainfall, with moderate to low variability, is 1,217mm, with rain falling on an average of 138 days a year

Landscaping in Sydney - Garden Design Elements

Landscaping Sydney

Sydney gardens are heavily focused on outdoor living. There is generally a large outdoor area dedicated to entertaining and hanging out and enjoying the sun and outdoors.

Pergolas and paved areas are common place in the Sydney landscape garden. Adding to the outdoor appeal is the strong use of water features. Water has a soothing effect both visually and aurally.

The sound of a gently trickling water feature is most relaxing. Sydney Landscaping also often involves an informal relaxed layout with the use of curves and rounded garden beds and structures. 

Plantings are also often relaxed groupings rather than straight hedges. Australian gardens have a certain feel, a sense of place,  and there are many elements that help evoke this sense of place.

Here are but a few of them:

1. Natural plant groupings -  your plants should be clumped as they would be in nature, use random groupings, numbers and arrangements.

2. The use of timber helps give a sense of Australiana, timber sleepers, timber steps, timber decking all help achieve an Australian Native feel.

Crushed granite, or sandstone is another lovely garden element to include in a native garden, it gives a soft appearance to garden pathways. All these elements can be easily achieved by a DIY gardener.

3. Natural stone is often used in an Australian Native landscape. Sandstone can be used in a number of ways, as stepping stones, stone walls or simply as feature boulders in the garden to add strength to the layout and design.

Sydney Landscape Design

Gardening Sydney

Ensure that your landscape design is an open, free form style. Avoid rigid straight lines and formal hedges. Try and add contrasting clumps of foliage to create interest and excitement to the planting design.

Native grasses planted in clumps is a lovely effect. Winding, flowing pathways and garden rooms add a sense of intrigue to any garden. Pathways are often made up of natural stepping stones, or recycled sleepers to give an added rustic feel.

A dry river bed or creek is another interesting element that can add some interest to your garden layout. River pebbles laid out to mimic a river bed is a simple and effect landscape feature.

Landscaping does not always need to cost much, all you need is a little imagination. Don't miss our guide on backyard landscaping ideas while on a budget

Common Native Plants for Sydney Gardens

Here is a list of some common Australian native plants that grow well in Sydney – including native trees, shrubs, grasses, under story plants and ground covers;

  • Kangaroo Paw
  • Gymea Lilly
  • Carex Grass
  • Lomandra
  • Native Violets
  • Blue Fescue Grass
  • Westringia
  • Austromyrtus
  • Angophora
  • Grass Trees
  • Top 6 Things To Check To Know If You Have A Good Gardener

    Gardeners in Sydney

    Do you have a gardener? Are you looking to hire one? More and more people are choosing to hire a gardener to maintain their property instead of doing it themselves and it is imperative that you choose wisely. 

    What the wrong gardener can do in 10 minutes could take 10 months to rectify. One of my clients hired a gardener to trim her hedges. To her horror, when he finished she could barely tell she even had a hedge, the plants were trimmed back so much!

    By the time she called me in it had been 8 months and the hedges still had not grown back to their desired shape.

    Important Things to Look for When Hiring a Gardener in Syndey.

    Before you give them the job

    1. What is their appearance like?

    Have they dressed relatively nicely for a tradesman or are they scruffy and unkempt? Remember, you are hiring them to care for your plants.

    Do you want to hire someone who doesn’t care for their own appearance to care for the appearance of your garden?

    2. Can they talk the talk?

    By this I mean, do they seem to understand what you are asking them to do. Many good gardeners won’t know everything but they should at least be able to follow your conversation and perhaps even suggest idea’s as you go. 

    If they seem lost with what you are talking about, they are probably lost about what to do. This is no sure way to determine if they do know what to do, because it isn’t that hard to fake it, but if they can’t even fake it…do you want to trust your garden to them?

    3. Do they mind you asking questions?

    A good gardener will not just see you as a means to making money but will see your garden as something they want to partner with you to improve.

    If they don’t seem to mind you asking questions they are probably going to be a better fit for you.

    Landscapers in Sydney

    After they have been given the job

    4. How did they leave the place? 

    Did they sweep up after themselves? Put everything back to its rightful place if they moved it? If they’ve taken care to leave your place well it is more likely they’ll have cared to do a good job.

    If they leave it messy, that often means they are a person who takes shortcuts that may not be beneficial to your garden.

    5. Check the most obscure part of your garden, has it been touched? Are their any hidy-holes around your place? 

    The best gardeners will take care of your property regardless of how visible it is. Sure, they might do a better job of the most prominent places because they will be seen the most, but even the unseen should be looked after.

    Check underneath bushes to see if they have bothered to remove any weeds that may be hiding. If they have been thorough here then chances are they are thorough in every way.

    6. Are they clear and above board about payment? 

    This might sound like a strange one but if your gardener is willing to turn a blind eye to things regarding payment, they may well have also turned a blind eye to other elements of plant care that could save them money.

    No one likes paying taxes but a gardener that shows integrity and treats your job above board is far more likely, in my experience, to do the very best job.

    Paying cash is fine but I myself would be wary of offering cash as an incentive to get it cheaper simply because it means that gardener is willing to cut corners. I will receive cash but it will always be above board.

    About the Author

    Dave Limburg – I am a professional landscape designer with over 15 years of landscape design experience. 

    Dave Limburg Online Garden Design

    I run Online Garden Design offering an Australia wide custom landscape design service and DIY guides online. We create unique garden design based on your wants and needs, and show you how to build your own garden with our complete do it yourself guidelines, or alternatively our design packages can be used for contractors to quote from and build off.

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    1. With time, garden landscaping has increased exponentially in Sydney. People are demanding more and more from their designers these days. This has also improved the quality of landscape designers in Sydney as they are constantly trying to do something new and artistic for their clients.

    2. Landscape gardeners design and construct garden landscapes or renovate existing gardens. They use a wide range of gardening skills to create a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.
      landscape gardeners north shore work at a variety of sites, including public and private parks and gardens, indoor facilities and newly developed housing estates and industrial complexes. They may also construct fences, trellises, pergolas, ponds, ferneries, barbecues, play structures and garden furniture. –

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    Revealed! How to transform your garden...
    without a huge investment in time or money!