5 Design Tips for Small Garden Spaces

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Small garden spaces are either an awkward patio space or a cozy backyard nook. On one hand, they’re easy to clean. On the other, they’re the hardest to design because of such little square footage. If you’ve got big ideas for your small garden space, come right this way. We’ve round up the most helpful design tips to maximize every precious inch of your lot space.
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Small outdoor space - Espaso Verde

1. Pick space-appropriate and multi-purpose garden furniture

Big outdoor furniture tends to overpower an already small space, so it ends up looking (and feeling) smaller. Instead, find patio and garden furniture that fit in well with your space. A garden bench is a practical choice. But a furniture that multitasks is necessary for a small space. Dual-purpose garden furniture is everywhere these days, as demand for living spaces gradually increases. A day bed can be extra seating. Constructing plant boxes can double as makeshift sitting areas and turn the garden into a more relaxing outdoor space. Think of your furniture as multi-purpose and mobile, that can adapt to different uses.
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2. Get Some Perspective

Long, straight lines trick you into thinking a small garden landscape is bigger than it is. To take full advantage of this illusion, subtly slant the far end of the lines toward one another and create a focal point. In this small backyard idea, a fence does the job and is enhanced by repeating rows of flowers and a pergola.
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3. Use Verticle Space Well

It’s easy to force your great big design idea into your small garden space, but don’t forget that areas are three dimensional and you can use every inch of wall space available. Floating planter pots can give you more space for greenery, and a small ledge in the patio can be a landing strip for bills and mail or even a pretty orchid.
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Using Color in garden

4. Use color in your garden

Know when to choose dark or bright colors. Dark colors like blue, purple and pink, have a tendency to make areas look larger than they are. These colors can help make your area feel more spacious. Don’t forget that neutral colors will work with both dark and bright colors to expand the palette of plant material while maintaining the mood you are creating. Dark colors also tend to create a calming and serene atmosphere and will appear cool in even the worst heat. Dark tones create a sanctuary, where you can go to unwind and de-stress from life’s chaos.
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Small garden space idea

5. Conquer indoors and dead nooks

In a small outdoor space, it’s easy to ignore the areas that don’t get a lot of immediate view—such as corners of your house or garage. Turn those spots into unexpected focal points, by adding a centerpiece tree, an oversized pot, and flowers or foliage plants for interest. Turn your balcony into a dining area or your patio into a small sitting area where you can entertain guests. Remember, every square inch is precious so there are no rules! Make even your indoor space functional for your home.
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We have a team of experts that can assess your space for landscaping needs. We’d love to visit you and give you a free quote. We are well-experienced to give you a landscape that you would be proud to entertain in. If you’re looking for high quality construction solutions in Hawke’s Bay, give us a call.
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Preparing An Outdoor Living Space In Winter

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Winter months can be hard on your property. This of course extends to your outdoor living space, an area of your home that you lovingly attended to when the weather outside is sunny and warm. But now that the colder weather has descended on your property, what is to be done with that patio, deck, and general outdoor living area?

If you spend a lot of time using your outdoor living space, winter is probably your least favorite time of year. The colder weather can present challenges for outside use, and keeping your plants and furniture in good condition is also a challenge. But never fear – we’re here to help you with a few suggestions.
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Heating

Heating is the most crucial element for any outdoor living space in the winter. If you don’t keep your space warm, then it’s going to be hard to spend quality time out there. Wood burning or gas fire pits always make a great hit. They can double as both a heating device and a great patio centerpiece.

For a smaller outdoor space, you may want to invest in an electric patio heater or gas heater. They put out a lot of heat without needing a lot of room. These are a few we like and are available in New Zealand.

www.mitre10.co.nz
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Plants

Plants are one of the easiest ways to add color to the outdoor  living space, but they can also be some of the most fragile items out there. Winter and its freezing temperatures make these sensitive plants susceptible to damage.

If you have plants that can be easily transplanted and have space indoors, try moving them out of the cold before you get your first freeze. Use a heavily insulated material to wrap any outdoor planters that are too big to bring inside. This will help keep their roots warm during the cooler months.
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Cover your outdoor furniture, kitchen, or water feature

All summer long you have enjoyed your outdoor living space, and you have invested time and money into a lot of the items.  The weather in winter is one of the hardest times of the year on them. The moisture and temperatures can bring a whole host of problems. Use heavy-duty vinyl covers on your fountains and grills to keep them dry and protect them from the weather.  Water-resistant covers should be used to cover your outdoor furniture. Remove any cushions and store them inside for the wet weather.
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Lighting

Lighting is essential when preparing your outdoor living space for winter. The long cold days offer the least amount of daylight of any time of the year. Hence the need for good lighting. You will enjoy the feeling of warmth and safety with some outdoor light fixtures. These are a few available locally, and some of the lighting doesn’t even need to be professionally installed.

www.bunnings.co.nz
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Garden Design and construction is our specialty, and we love the idea of entertainment areas with a fire pit and built-in seating. We enjoy working with stone to build outdoor kitchens and look forward to any ideas you may want to create. Have a browse of some of our work here.

These four tips are easy to do and will help you get through the winter with ease. Remember, if you need any help designing an outdoor space or would like some ideas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
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Landscape Design Garden Features

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People like to take pride in their garden and what’s better than having one that stands out among the rest. Creating landscape design garden features keeps things fresh and interesting. Here are some fantastic ways to add a feature to any garden.
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Landscape Design Garden Feature - Water feature - Espado Verde Landscape Design and Garden Maintenance

Water
You can have still water or moving water, either way this will add interest to the garden. You can create this landscape design garden features yourself using large containers or tubs. If you have a sloped landscape this is a great way to create a waterfall. Otherwise you can get a fountain to suit any style of garden, big or small.
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Landscape Design Garden Feature - seating - Espado Verde Landscape Design and Garden Maintenance

Seating
Having a bench seat adds great focus to any garden. Get creative by using old tree stumps and recycled furniture. Create an outdoor seating area where you can relax and admire.Click here to add your own text
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Landscape Design Garden Feature - Paths walkway - Espado Verde Landscape Design and Garden Maintenance

Paths
Generally, every garden has at least one path, it is a way to mark boundaries within your space so they serve a practical purpose but can also become a great feature. Brick, pavers, gravel and mulch can all be used to create a great path.
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Landscape Design Garden Feature - Garden Structure arch pergola - Espado Verde Landscape Design and Garden Maintenance

Garden Structures
An arch or pergola is a great idea for a garden feature. They can frame a space like a great view and they add height to the garden. They can be purely decorative or serve a purpose such as providing shade.
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Landscape Design Garden Feature - stone ornament sculpture - Espado Verde Landscape Design and Garden Maintenance

Ornaments
This is an easy way to add landscape design garden features to your garden and creates a fantastic focal point. You can personalize the garden ornaments to suit your style and the opportunities are endless, however too many can make the garden look cluttered.
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Everyone loves a great looking garden feature. You need to maintain it year round to keep it looking good. We can assist if it gets a little out of hand as we have a fantastic garden maintenance service. But If you want to go BIG with your garden feature, we can help with landscape design, construction and stone masonry so feel free to give us a call.
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Companion Planting for Your Vegetable Garden

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Vegetable gardens are a great way to get your children interested in food, and can be a stunning feature in any garden. To get the most out of your crop try companion planting, it will help to keep pests away, but can also increase your yield.
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What is companion planting?

Companion planting is the practice of planting two or more plants together for mutual benefit. This can lead to enhanced quality and growth in your plants, improved crop yields and in general a better looking, fuller garden.

Benefits of Companion Planting Vegetables

  1. Shelter – Larger plants protect others from wind or too much sunlight.
  2. Beneficial Insects – attracting beneficial insects such as bees that help to spread pollen
  3. Soil Improvement – some vegetable plants improve soil conditions for other plants
  4. Decoy Plants – there are plants that emit odors that aid in masking the odors of insect-desirable vegetable plants.

Take a look at our info-graphics below, they’ll give you some valuable tips on what to plant with your favorite vegetables.
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Edible Garden Article – Blaze Mag

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I am really impressed and excited by the number of people I visit who would like to have an edible garden incorporated into their garden design. There is an increasing interest in growing and harvesting food from our gardens. Not only are the health benefits from growing your own food good for the mind body and soul, edible gardens can make a fantastic feature in your landscape.

When we design an edible garden the goal is to make it functional but also aesthetically pleasing. Add flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs, espaliered fruit trees, berries topiary, pots and ornaments or water features.

• Annual culinary herbs: basil, dill, summer savory, parsley, corriander, chervil, chammomile
• Perennial culinary herbs: mint, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, chives, sage
• Herbs used for tea: mint, lemon verbena, chamomile, Lemon balm, Echinacea

Whether it is a traditional Potager garden, lines and rows or a more relaxed organic approach incorporating a space for fruit and vegetables in to your garden is something that will add value to your life and property.

Written By : Charlotte Pedersen, Espaso verde Landscape Design For Blaze Magazine, Hawkes Bay
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A Landscape Gardeners Top 5 Outdoor Living Ideas

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A landscape gardeners top 5 outdoor living ideasThis might be a surprise to some, but as landscape gardeners we think about more than just the garden! We are always considering living flow, how the house and garden meet and merge, and detailed elements around how good landscaping can create an improved living area and a better home environment.

Though this is a time of year when a lot of us are snuggled up inside escaping the cold, as the days grow longer and we start to get some warmer weather it is a great time to start thinking about dinners outside with the family and outdoor entertaining. Read on below for the top 5 outdoor living ideas from your local landscape gardeners.

  • A good sized patio with inside-outside flow
    If you’re going to be enjoying outside living, you need a good-sized area to do so. While it can be easy to develop a suitable area or expand on your current patio it is essential that the living flow has been thought about. You don’t want to be carrying food and drinks half-way across the house, and you want guests who need to retire inside to be able to still feel central to the entertaining area.
  • An outdoor fireplace
    We wrote about these in another article. Outdoor fireplaces are fantastic for more than heat: you can cook on them, melt marshmallows with the children, or just enjoy the warm glow with a glass of your favourite (Hawke’s Bay) red wine. You can read more about the advantages of an outdoor fireplace here.
  • Mood lighting on the patio
    As the sun dips and it moves into evening, lights that enable a nice transition into nighttime are ideal. Rather than choose between “moodily dark” and “blindingly light”, having the option to either change lighting as the night progresses, or dim lighting and slowly increase the brightness, creates the perfect atmosphere all evening long.
  • Light up your garden
    Your garden looks amazing (if it doesn’t, you can always contact us for a free consultation). Lights placed throughout your garden make the evening special by adding color, dimension and depth. There are a rnage of options from modern solar lights through to installed electric LED lighting. We can help you decide what is best for your garden.
  • Add a unique canopy
    While the image at the top of this post is from an urban setting in Japan, we hope this photo lets you see how much a canopy can be tailored to look great and protect from the elements – sheltering from the harsh sun in Summer yet still allowing good light and an “open” feel with views of the sky.

We hope this list gets your imagination fired up and you can start brainstorming some great outdoor living ideas for your home. You can see more images and ideas here.

Need help? Want some inspiration from professional landscape gardeners? We’d love to come and see you for a free consultation. Email us through the contact form or give Charlotte a call today.
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Advantage of an Outdoor Fireplace

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Outdoor Fireplace | Landscape Design | Espaso Verde

An outdoor fireplace can make a great addition to any patio. They have many benefits that you and your family can enjoy for a lifetime.

  • They’re great when entertaining
    Whether your friends or family sit around the fireplace discussing the latest life events or you roast marshmallows in it, outdoor fireplaces add charm and comfort to your parties. Make sure you keep everyone safe by adding an outside door or free standing screen.
  • Use your patio all year long
    Your patio doesn’t have to stop being a hive of activity just because it’s getting cold. Outdoor fireplaces are an excellent source of heat and make it possible to enjoy your patio all year round.
  • Forget the BBQ 
    Use your outdoor fireplaces to roast sausages, bake potatoes, melt marshmallows or prepare s’mores. It’s a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained on a chilly winter day.
  • Get romantic
    Fireplaces can create a romantic atmosphere. So if you’re looking to spend time with your loved one, have dinner and cuddle up by the fire to watch the stars, the ambiance of an open fire is an ideal way to accomplish this warm feeling.
  • Increase your value
    An outdoor fireplace can add value to your home and increase its appeal for a potential buyer.

Outdoor fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any patio or outdoor living area, and can be gas or wood burners depending on your preference. Visit our Pinterest page for inspiration and don’t forget to call us if you’d like an outdoor fireplace in your garden.
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Garden Maintenance

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gardening maintenance - hawkes bay landscape designer

Garden maintenance is essential to ensure that all the hard work that has gone into planting your garden does not go to waste. It’s easy and helps your garden stay beautiful and under control.

Here are some easy-care steps and tips to ensure your investment of time and money does not go to waste.

  1. Pruning your plants. Just give them a trim regularly. This will prevent them from growing out of control and having a huge mass of greenery to deal with. Tip: For large foliage plants use secateurs; you will get better results. Don’t use shears; they tend to cut leaves in half.
  2. Weed regularly. Pull out weeds promptly before they get too big. It is much easier on your hands and make sure to get the weeds out before they set seed. Tip: Plant ground cover. Bare soil tends to be more susceptible to weeds.
  3. Clean your irrigation system at least twice a year. The plants will thank you for the quality of water they will receive and grow much better. Tip: Drip lines are much more economical than sprinklers for watering plants.
  4. Mulching your landscaping is key to an easy-care garden. Mulching after planting hinders weed growth, insulates your soil, reduces diseases, and keeps the water in. Tip: Using organic mulch helps add nutrients to the soil because it breaks down.
  5. Lawn mowers should be set on high. Mow more often, but higher. This method makes the grass healthier and denser. Tip: Keep your mower blades sharp. This helps the blades cut the grass cleanly and avoids shredding your grass.

Everyone loves coming home to a tidy well maintained garden, but life gets busy and things can quickly fall apart. If you find your garden has got out of hand and is too much for you to manage alone, give us a call to talk about our “Garden Maintenance” services. We take care of everything for you, get rid of all the waste, and can even offer simple garden ideas that will make your neighbors jealous!
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10 Tips to grow great strawberries

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espaso verde strawberry tipsAh… the taste of summer, there is nothing better than juicy red strawberries picked fresh from your own garden. Whether they spill out of strawberry towers, tumble from hanging baskets, fill to the edges of troughs and containers or take up a large area in the vegetable garden.

Strawberries do not require a lot of space, maintenance and not to mention they are great fun for the kids to engage in growing their own food.

We have created a great 10 Tips to grow great strawberries.pdf handout to help you grow the most delicious strawberries this summer. As a bonus heres a link for some great strawberries recipes you might  to try

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/collections/strawberry+recipes
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Our Landscape Design Ideas Are Making The News

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From sunken gardens to outdoor rooms, our landscape design idea’s are making the news. Our principal landscape designer, Charlotte has been lending her brain and giving tips to some national magazines.

In the Resene “Habitat” magazine, Charlotte has given ideas on what can be done to an existing garden to create an inviting area for entertaining friends and family. In the spring/summer 2015/16 issue, Charlotte talks about how adding a sunken garden can create an inviting outdoor living space that links the house and garden together.

Landscape Design Tips | Habitat Magazine


The “Registered Master Builders House of the Year 2015 East Coast Region” magazine has also published a few of Charlotte’s ideas, with the outdoor room the Espaso Verde team created for one of a client. Charlotte shares her top 3 tips for creating an outdoor living space with splashes of bold colour and strong lines.

Master Builder Magazine


You can get your copy of Resene’s “Habitat” magazine from your local Resene stockist or online from Resene’s website. Pick up a copy of the Registered Master Builders House of the Year 2015 East Coast Region from your nearest master builder.

Keep an eye on our blog  or connect with us on social media for more great tips and ideas for your garden.
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