[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator css=".vc_custom_1545017480330{margin-top: 223px !important;}"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="How to Select the Right Landscape Design for Your Residential Garden" font_container="tag:h1|text_align:left"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Are you about to roll up your sleeves and dig into a new residential landscape design? You may have just completed a full-scale renovation inside and want to ensure that your backyard is equally as impressive. If so, you need to choose the right landscape design and, to do so, you need to ask yourself a number of questions first. Big Picture Your first question will be holistic. From a big picture perspective, what do you want to get out of this? Try to focus on a theme and everything else can flow from there. You may want your garden to complement the style of architecture of your home. Perhaps you can replicate some of its key features and link everything to a central point in your garden. Take your time to look at the garden from every available window or door in your home and from any other entry point. This will help you visualise your design and give you an idea of where you should place each feature. Space Planning Next, think about functionality and usability.  You may need to prioritise some of your “ideals” or compromise in certain areas. For example, you may want to create a place for your kids to run free and will need to allocate a certain amount of space to a verdant lawn. You may like to entertain friends and neighbours and will want to earmark some of the area for a patio. Perhaps you’ve got green fingers and will want to grow some organic vegetables, or you may even think about installing a swimming pool. Take your time to go through all the options and decide which of them are most important for you. Site Analysis Now it’s time to be practical and analyse your site to see what factors will affect the eventual design.  Take accurate measurements and determine how the nature of the terrain may affect your plans. Do you have undulating slopes to work with, and how will this affect drainage? What type of soil do you have on your property, as this will determine your plant selection based on water requirements? You may need to get a sample of soil and send it off for testing if you want to be 100% clear. Climate and Environment You should also consider your environment and average climate.  How is the weather likely to affect the performance of your new garden once it is finished? Will you be able to get the right amount of sun and shade in relation to your lawn, flower and plant beds? Will the shade for any trees in the vicinity affect the temperature of the water in your swimming pool, or will you need to consider adding a solar array in one corner for heating purposes? Who We Are All told, this can be quite a task, and this is where we come in. Principal Pools + Landscapes have been around for more than 12 years now and specialise in residential landscaping. Our our director Cullen Long will personally oversee each job, to ensure that we fully understand your brief. Principal Landscapes is an award-winning member of LIAWA. We have an in-house construction team and contractors who always work closely to ensure that each project is completed within budget and on time. How We Can Help When you hand your project over to us, we will initially conduct a site inspection free of charge within the Perth metro area. If you want to progress, we will then provide you with a design based on your brief. This will be accompanied by all necessary information and, if needed, a 3-D visualisation package. If all of this looks good to you, a detailed quotation will follow. The construction process involves permit applications, full scheduling and consultation. We aim to complete the work with minimal disruption to your daily life and always leave the site in a safe and clean condition. At Principal Pools + Landscapes, we are confident that you will be delighted with our work. We will always be available to support you and help you to fully enjoy your new paradise. Get in touch today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator css=".vc_custom_1545017480330{margin-top: 223px !important;}"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="The Perth landscape professionals weigh in: How to maintain your pool in winter" font_container="tag:h1|text_align:left"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It goes without saying that for most pool owners, the pool sits idle in the backyard during the winter months. While Perth winters are mild and we don’t have to protect our pools from freezing temperatures, taking care of our pools in winter can save money and ensure that when swim season is once again on the horizon, the pool is quickly back up and running. Here are 6 handy tips for maintaining your pool in winter: Keep it clean - sounds simple right? A scoop of leaves from the pool water and a quick vacuum or sweeping of your wading area can easily avoid the buildup of leaf matter and potential algae growth. Cleaning up organic matter also stops the plaster or fiberglass surface from staining.  Make sure it’s covered - pool blankets are much more cost-effective these days, so there’s no excuse not to cover your pool in winter. They help to:  Trap heat, which in turn helps to stabilise the water chemistry and reduce power consumption if your pool is heated  Keep debris out of your pool for less maintenance during winter and less work when summer comes back around  Rebalance your pool chemicals - when your pool isn’t being used, it often gets the ‘out of sight out of mind’ treatment, however, it’s very important to keep your pool chemicals balanced all year round. This prolongs the life of your pool's surface as an unbalanced pool can quickly affect the pool plaster. Don’t forget about filtration - while Autumn is a beautiful time of year with tree foliage changing colour, this also means leaves will drop into your pool and collect in your skimmer box or filtration. Our advice it to empty your pump filters and flush out your cartridge filters regularly. Test, Test, Test - with all the rainfall, your water will become unbalanced quickly. Ensure you test your pool water regularly. Stick to a maintenance schedule - Routine will help you to keep on top of your pool maintenance. If you are time poor, contact your local pool shop and they can provide the details of a pool technician who can take care of everything for you. Get ready for summer now and install a pool! Believe it or not, winter is the best time to install a pool. The busiest time of the year for pool installation runs from September to December, with lead times blown out across the board. Pool company construction times, engineering, drafting and council approvals also slow down during these busy months.  As the entire pool planning and build process can take 3 to 4 months, getting a head start in winter is a huge benefit. Avoid the summer waiting game and get the process started in winter so your pool is ready to go for Christmas! Our pool construction process The Principal Pools + Landscapes process starts with a site consultation and conversation between our director Cullen Long and yourself, where we discuss your wish list, pool options, seating and wading areas, water features, heating and more! From here: A pool and surrounding landscape design that ticks all your boxes is created. Seamlessness is imperative and a good design will achieve that, rather than the old ‘plonk a pool in the backyard and hope for the best’ strategy.  A detailed and itemised quote is provided nd once approved, your project will be booked in. The planning stage involves drafting, engineering and preparation for council approval (which can take up to a month).  Things get really exciting once council approval comes through - site construction commences and Cullen will discuss material selections such as tiling, coping, plaster colours, lighting, equipment and heating options.  When your pool is nearing completion, your pool safety barrier will be installed prior to the pool being plastered and filled with water. Then you can dive, bombay or slip into your new pool and enjoy for years to come!   Onsite consultations within Perth metro are free of charge and our results speak for themselves; awarded Residential Landscape Designer of the Year in 2018 by industry body LIAWA. We're proud of our achievements and look forward to creating many more beautiful gardens and pools to enhance our clients’ lifestyles. Get in touch today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator css=".vc_custom_1545017480330{margin-top: 223px !important;}"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="Should I hire a professional landscape designer or do it myself?" font_container="tag:h1|text_align:left"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]You want to give your outdoor area a bit of a refresh. It might be because you’re looking to sell, you want to get more out of your space or it’s just time for an upgrade. But is professional landscaping worth it? Like building or renovating a home, the planning and design stage of a landscaped garden are critical to achieving a design which ticks all the boxes and is tailored around a specific budget. A good landscape designer or contractor will tailor a garden design to suit you and your budget and provide a specialised construction service to bring your design to life. Here’s why it pays to hire a professional. 1. They have the experience and expertise Gone are the days of a garden design which includes some paving, a bricked-in barbecue and some plants! Many homes these days are designed with indoor-outdoor living in mind, so the yard needs to be designed as an extension of the home. It's the landscape designer’s job to create a layout which will flow and connect with the home. So when you engage with a professional, several technical components will be considered to enhance you design that you might not have even thought of. These include: Zones such as alfresco areas, pools and lawn or play space should blend seamlessly Pools need to be positioned optimally while safety barriers must also be considered as they can be a hindrance if incorrectly located Structural components such as retaining requirements can often form part of a raised pool edge, which can also create an infinity edge as well as a pool barrier when designed at 1200mm height Trees and plants will be selected to suit specific areas and deciduous trees might be positioned to allow winter light into your home and summer shade 2. They have the industry connections Gardens designs often include shade structures. A shade structure can be designed to not only provide shade but be a funky feature which becomes a focal point for the yard. A feature tiled wall as a backdrop might tie in with the internal tiles of your home, or stone cladding with lighting at night can become a dramatic feature. These types of built components often require specific trades and your landscaper will either have the skills to install these components or have the connections within the industry to get the perfect outcome. They will also be able to source materials at trade cost saving you money. 3. You get a professional yet personalised service When searching for your landscaper, you will choose a landscaper who suits you. It will start with their portfolio of work which will interest you and when you meet you will get a feel for their design direction and develop a rapport from there. One of the key components of the design process from a designer’s point of view is simple - listen to the client! Carefully listening to a client’s requirements and taste and then building on that will translate to a design which responds perfectly to the brief. You should feel that you can trust your designer and it should be an open book when it comes to communication. Often there are changes along the way and a good designer will be forthcoming and offer different solutions and advice to achieve the best results. Flexibility from the designer is important. 4. You get the results without all the hassle and hard work The hardscaping components of a garden are not only back-breaking but will often require engineering and council approval. It's important that the professional designs a space to meet council guidelines. The planning and approval process is equally as important as the construction process and a professional landscape designer will not only know the correct construction techniques and follow engineering specifications when required, but they will also do the 'heavy lifting' for you. Installing a cabana roof or a paved driveway can be physical work, but a professional contractor will be up for the challenge and an experienced team will equal a quick and accurate installation. 5. You can create your dream outdoor space and increase your home’s value A professional garden design will enhance your lifestyle. Perth’s beautiful weather encourages us to spend lots of time outside, so why not create an outdoor room where you can spend time relaxing with your family? For example, a pool area which the kids will love (or a swim up bar which the parents will love!) or a fire pit or pizza oven area with some funky seating which encourages you to use your outdoor space on a cooler night or when entertaining. Features such as these will not only enhance your lifestyle, but they will also help sell a home and can add significant value to your property. Here at PPL, we employ a personal approach - Cullen will personally meet with you on site and will carefully listen to your requirements. He will then personally create an innovative garden design which reflects your brief. Onsite consultations within Perth metro are free of charge and our results speak for themselves; awarded Residential Landscape Designer of the Year in 2018 by industry body LIAWA. We're proud of our achievements and look forward to creating many more beautiful gardens and pools to enhance our clients’ lifestyles. Get in touch today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...
Garden Design Perth Before

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator css=".vc_custom_1545017480330{margin-top: 223px !important;}"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text="Small Garden Design"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Garden design for a small space can be challenging. If not carefully planned, the space can end up cluttered, uninteresting and a poor use of space. The best place to start is to compile a list of your requirements. What do you want featured within the space? How do you plan to use the space? Which materials and colour palette do you like?  Your list might include a barbecue or outdoor kitchen, a dining table or somewhere to sit and relax, a water feature, some greenery and garden lighting. After you have established your wish list, the fun part starts- design! For small spaces, the key is not to 'over design'. Over-designed spaces can look cluttered and make an already small space look even smaller, they can also clash or compete with your home.   Start by positioning cooking facilities ideally near or beneath the alfresco to enable close proximity to your kitchen and dining area. This may mean the incorporation of an extractor fan to service your barbecue. The exception are pizza ovens which are best positioned further from the house for smoke reasons. By doing this, they also create a hub to gather around during the cooler nights- a perfect gathering for cooking not only pizzas but a roast or even toasting marshmallows with the kids. Just ensure the oven is positioned so that smoke doesn't affect your neighbours! Storage for cooking facilities is also important- even a simple cupboard or drawer setup can create storage for cooking utensils and keep benches or tables uncluttered.   Next, consider how you will use the space and the type of furniture you will have. Decide whether you want to use the space for dining and entertaining, relaxation or both (if you have space). Outdoor dining settings are best positioned close to your kitchen or barbeque. Relaxation lounges or daybeds can be positioned in a corner of your yard further away from the house to draw you out and create a quiet corner for reading a book or magazine. Built in seating is a great idea for a small space. Some spaces are so small there may be no room for dining or lounge furniture so a built in bench seat, daybed or L-shaped seat to one corner of your yard can maximize space and functionality. A custom built seat can also be a feature in itself- picture some nice cushions, a Travertine stone top with contrasting Blackbutt battens to the face. When combined with lighting they can create some wow factor for your small space.   Flooring and walling is best kept simple. Small spaces always benefit from a simple material palette- choose one material and stick with it. You may choose honed aggregate for flooring which will provide a seamless look and help to open up your space, large format paving around 600x600mm will do the same, or wide board decking ideally in a lighter colour- Blackbutt or Pacific Teak are ideal. Avoid smaller pavers or dark colours as they tend to make a small space look even smaller. Boundary walls or fences are best kept simple as well- white or neutral light coloured rendered walls will provide the illusion of more space and light coloured fences will do the same. Cladding walls or screening fences with a light coloured timber can create a nice feature to be viewed from your home but be careful not to overuse timber as it will have less of an impact if overused. Dark colours can look good in larger spaces but avoid using in a small area. Wall art or a water feature on your boundary can also create a focal point and draw your eyes out. Just be careful when selecting a water feature and choose something that is quiet and has a slow trickle- keep in mind water noise can echo in a small space.   Small enclosed areas can often get hot, so consider a shade option during the planning process. Something simple like a shade sail or something more structural such as an extension of your alfresco roof or a freestanding roof structure. Steel or timber posts are a good option, especially if cantilevered off the fence- they will have minimum impact on the rest of the yard. Avoid using brick piers as they will take up too valuable space.   Greenery is an important component for any garden and especially a small one. People often think a small space would benefit from no gardens and maximum paving- wrong! By carefully positioning even the narrowest of gardens 200-300mm wide around the perimeter of your yard, it will enable you to incorporate some narrow planting such as bamboo or even creeping Ficus which will attach itself to your boundary wall. Any type of greenery will help soften your small space and create a vibrant area. Raised planter boxes are also great, not only creating a raised garden but also doubling as seating.   Lighting will transform any space but particularly a small one- garden lighting creates a lovely ambience and brings your space to life at night. It creates more of an outdoor room feel by providing definition to the area.   Depending on your budget, a small spa can also create a great place to relax year round and will draw you out to your space during the cooler months. 2x2m spas can slot into most small courtyards with ease and offer a great alternative to a pool if you don't have space for one. Having said that, even pools if carefully designed, can sit against your house if engineered and constructed in conjunction with a new home, maximizing your surrounding space.   The key for a small space is in the planning- plan it well and the results will speak for themselves. If you follow these tips, you can't go wrong![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator color="white" css=".vc_custom_1534347495319{margin-top: 223px !important;}"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width="stretch_row_content_no_spaces" width_100="yes" parallax_speed="5" parallax_x="0" parallax_y="0"][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="full"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading source="post_title" font_container="tag:h1|text_align:left" use_theme_fonts="yes"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Clients often ask me whether a garden design is required for their project. To accurately answer this question, a few variables must be considered first. We must assess the level of detail required as well as the clients’ budget and the construction scope. When it comes to budget, if the project value is between 10-20k and consists of a simple lawn area with a few ground level gardens and paving, you might not need a design. But if that’s the case, it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of layout. There’s nothing worse than the quoted scope not matching what a client wants; if there is no design provided, these discrepancies generally don’t become evident until the construction phase (the client returns home from work and the lawn area is a lot smaller than they had anticipated)! In situations when a design is not required, good communication is vital to ensure you know what you’re getting. For more detailed projects which might have items such as a pool, roof structure, level changes, planter boxes, walling or an outdoor kitchen, the answer is yes- a design is a vital part of your project and something you should consider carefully as it will maximise your investment and outcome. To use an analogy; when you build a house, you receive your house plans, review them and once you’re happy with the layout, specifications and materials, you sign off on them. This process creates a clear understanding of what you’re getting and ensures a result which will match your vision and budget, as well as a smooth construction phase. A garden design is exactly the same. First you will research and choose a landscaping company, you will then meet on site to discuss your project in detail. From there a fee will be presented for your garden design and you will choose if/when to proceed. The value of a good garden design becomes fully evident in the end result of your project. It’s easy to plot in some lawn, a few planter boxes and a water feature, but the important things quite often get overlooked such as material cohesion, finished levels and positioning of big ticket items such as a pool or roof structure. You would be surprised how often I meet with a client who has already installed their pool prior to engaging a designer, and their pool has been installed in the wrong spot! The pool company might simply suggest the pool be installed in the easiest or most cost-effective position. Often that means you’re left with surrounding areas which are disjointed, divided by pool fence barriers and unconnected to your alfresco or home.  A garden design will help maximise functionality by creating a layout which is seamless and best suited to you and your family.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row parallax_speed="5" parallax_x="0" parallax_y="0" css=".vc_custom_1536487428992{margin-top: 25px !important;margin-bottom: 25px !important;}"][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_gallery interval="3" images="1113,1301,1619" img_size="800x400" css_animation="none"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] When considering your budget, if you’re looking to spend upwards of 30k I would suggest you consider engaging a designer first. A scaled 2D drawing will allow the entire yard to be designed with items such as pools, roof structures, walling, entertaining/seating areas, lawn/gardens to be positioned to maximise functionality and visual impact. Pools should be positioned so that they don’t interfere with services such as Water Corporation sewer mains. A concrete pool can also be designed to suit a specific space; dimensions, depth and shape are all open to discussion. Wading areas, seating and even a swim-up bar can be incorporated. You should also consider positioning your pool so it can be seen from inside your home; even in winter when not in use, pool lights can be switched on and your pool becomes a glowing body of water which can be viewed from the home. Pool pumps can be noisy so equipment should be positioned in an area where the noise won’t impact you and ideally screened out of sight. Roof structures should be positioned to comply with council regulations. They will also create a zone for entertaining or relaxing and are quite often best positioned further away from your existing alfresco area to draw people out to the yard. Positioning of all remaining components within your garden is just as important. A good design should take in account your material palette, to ensure cohesion and visual interest. Materials such as paving, walling, stone cladding, timber decking, painted render and ceiling finishes should all connect together and compliment your homes exterior and interior. A good design will also include a detailed plant list, one which takes into consideration specific species suited to specific areas such as full sun, shade or coastal conditions. Plants can also be used to hide unsightly fencing and soften areas such as paved courtyards. A good design will specify finished levels; whether a deck can be level with your internal flooring for a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, how many steps might be required to access a sunken fire pit or lawn area or the heights of walls or planter boxes. Most importantly, a good design should not only impress you, it should be tailored around your wish list, your lifestyle and meet your budgetary requirements. A 2D design will help you visualise what the end result will look like and will explore possibilities and ideas which quite often get glazed over. 3D design will go even further, helping you to visualise your new garden or pool. Whatever you decide, remember you’ll be living in this space and that means it should be perfectly suited for you.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...