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When designing a garden one of the first considerations is the local climate. – Sydney’s climate is temperate to sub tropical. This climate affects how you landscape for Sydney gardens and especially what plants to grow.
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
Sydney Landscape Garden Design Elements
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
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.
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;
So You Want A Better Garden?
All my best articles have been collected into what I’m calling the ultimate gardening toolkit – make sure you take a look, there’s a heap of great gardening advice available.
I’ve also published a series of gardening ebooks that you might be interested in. Good luck!
About the Author
Dave Limburg – I am a professional landscape designer with over 15 years of landscape design experience. 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.