An important consideration for anyone who undertakes a landscape design, be they a professional landscaper or a homeowner wishing to update their garden, is the location they are in, or rather what the climate is at that location.
It stands to reason that a landscaped garden designed in Perth, Scotland is going to be a lot different to one designed in Perth, Western Australia. Differences include Perth in Scotland having around 2 – 3 inches of rain every month whereas Perth, WA has 7 months with less than 2 inches of rain and several close to zero.
This is one reason why you will find that there are landscape designs created and adapted specifically to suit climates that are predominately hot, dry and sunny, and conversely landscape designs that are suitable for areas where rainfall is plentiful, even if sunshine and warm days are not.
Of course, if we are to believe all the news stories about global warming and accept the evidence that many areas are seeing their average and peak temperatures increasing annually, then the time may come when more landscape designs suit the conditions we currently see in areas such as Western Australia rather than what is found in Scotland, although, even there the high-temperature record was broken yet again this year.
However, this is not an article about weather per se, but how to design landscaped gardens in a specific climate, and in this case we are looking at drier climates as experienced in many parts of Australia such as the aforementioned WA, and indeed most other states in Australia which are generally considered to be drier than many other parts of the world. Specifically, we are going to look at the types of lawns that are suited to the drier conditions found in those locations.
Five main lawn types can be considered most suited to dry conditions. That being said, it does not mean that they do not need watering, nor that they cannot be damaged by extreme heat or drought. They also do require appropriate care and maintenance as do all lawns, unless they are artificial lawns, but those can be discussed in another post. As for ‘real’ lawns, here are the five we recommend for drier climates.
Lawn Type #1 – Zoysia
Despite its higher cost, this is a lawn grass that is extremely popular in dry areas such as Perth, WA because it is ideal for gardens with pools and in coastal locations. Zoysia grass is also perfect for gardens located in areas that get sparse amounts of rain, lots of sunshine, and high temperatures. It is also a robust grass meaning it can withstand lots of foot traffic.
Lawn Type #2 – Kikuyu
For gardens that get drenched, not with rain, but, instead, with sunshine, Kikuyu grass is ideal for the lawn. It can withstand drought conditions as well as a lot of foot traffic and wear, which is why you may find it is the grass used for your local sports field or park, including for golf courses. Another benefit of Kikuyu is its lower price which will make it a very affordable element of landscape designs.
Lawn Type #3 – Couch
With cities that are in hot areas, and are also near the coast, couch grass is an excellent choice. Apart from its ability to withstand hours of hot sunshine, it is also extremely tolerant of salt, which makes it perfect for gardens near the ocean. Couch is another lawn grass that falls into the ‘affordable’ category meaning your landscaping budget should go further.
Lawn Type #4 – Buffalo
You might equate Buffalos with eating grass on the plains of North America, however, in this instance the name is for a grass that might not be able to withstand being eaten, but it will certainly withstand lots of heat. Further to that, Buffalo grass is also extremely resistant to garden pests and diseases, many of which are at their peak in the summer. This grass is very robust, so homeowners with children and pets will welcome that durability.
Lawn Type #5 – Bermuda
As you may know, Bermuda is an archipelago of over 180 islands located in another hot part of the world, The Caribbean, and the grass that bears its name is another that simply loves the sun and the heat. However, in the winter months, it will retain its deep green colour. Another huge benefit of Bermuda grass in landscaping is that it self-repairs meaning that maintenance of it is minimal compared to most other lawn grass.