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Garden Makeover North American Plant Species

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Garden Makeover Sydney North American Plant Species

The design brief for this garden makeover in Sydney was for a new under storey planting. Using only plant species from the North American continent, region. And to make a beautiful garden for the client.

Woodland Garden Design

For this themed garden makeover I ended up going for a woodland design concept. With just a few feature shrubs. The design was ultimately driven by plant availability with many late nights back to the drawing board with rejections on plant availability.

Then there were a range of site specific conditions to deal with Soil ph nutrient deficiency and low light levels being the key issues to address.

Plant selection

In this garden makeover I have used Louisiana Iris as the feature flower in a rocky outcrop and entrance to private seating area.

Philadelphus for its scented flowers and cane vase like growth habit. Due to the light levels I needed a plant that I could manage by cutting back hard for fresh new growth as plants going leggy in the low light levels is inevitable.

Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’ This is a bit high risk and only just established leading into winter.

Wisteria ‘Amethyst falls’ was used against the trellis but I will maintain these as a standard giving some foliage cover at the 5-6 ft marks and not allow them to block out the sun by covering the trellis, The trellis is a nice feature in itself

Heuchera I have a green and a purple variety, Erigeron and Echinacea and a fern Dryopteris. The intent is for these to fill in and form and a blanket of ground cover giving the woodland effect.

Mature trees an existing Magnolia grandiflora and Nyssa sylvatica. There is a Koelreuteria which is a bit out of place that happened long ago.

Soil improvement and amelioration

Soil Ph was a little high at 7 7.5 and significantly low levels Nitrogen and Potassium

The garden was rotary hoed with mushroom compost and peat moss added as soil improvements and the incorporation of water storing polymers to further assist water retention and management. A sulphur coated urea fertiliser was used with an N.P.K. of 24- 0-18. Soil tests indicated no need for Phosphorous or trace elements. The fertiliser and water storing polymers were incorporated thoroughly to a depth 200 mm. The compost added after that and rotary hoed to a depth of 100 mm.

A follow-up addition of Iron Sulphate and Slow release fertiliser was spread after planting. Soil Ph will be retested in spring and adjusted again if required.


The irrigation system was completely refurbished changing all pop irrigation housings to fix a range of leaks. And the change to low flow sprinkler nozzles from a flood nozzle. This provided more effective coverage as well as less water wasted and less water use. From leaks, run off and old pop up irrigation housings twisting and over spraying onto paths.

Wildcat Landscapes offer gardening services across Sydney’s Inner west and Eastern Suburbs. Including Haberfield, Fivedock, Petersham, Dulwich Hil, Sydenham, Croydon Park, Ashfield, Earlwood and surrounding suburbs. Call Adrian on 0477 465 030 to see how Wildcat Landscapes Garden Services can help you with your Garden Makeover.

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Phone                                                Adrian 0477 465 030

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