Living Landscapes Garden Ideas

Have a look through some of our garden ideas below and feel free to "Ask Micha a question" at the bottom of page or get in touch with your own ideas.

Small Trees for small Gardens
Fruit in Containers
Kids in the garden
Garden lighting


Small Trees for small Gardens
The average garden in NZ has become a lot smaller than it used to be. The once typical quarter-acre section is not actually very common any more. So often one encounters trees that are much too large for the size of the property they’re in, which can causes a lot of problems. Views get obstructed, other plants get smothered, there can be high maintenance costs and leaves create a big mess. Plus there’s simply the aesthetic aspect of having the overpowering presence of one tee in a small garden. Of course, the ideal solution is to avoid creating this kind of problem in the first place by choosing the right kind of trees for the size of your garden. There are naturally smaller staying trees available and horticulturists have even developed smaller staying cultivars of originally large trees. Below are a few varieties you could look at:

Deciduous Trees:

  • Japanese Maples (various species)
  • Katsura Tree
  • Redbud
  • Crabapples
  • Dogwood
  • Elm
  • Silk Tree
  • Maidenhair Cultivars
  • Liquidambar Cultivars
  • Oak Cultivars

  • Titoki (native)
  • Strawberry Tree
  • Magnolia Cultivars
  • Pohutekawa Cultivars (native)
  • Kowhai (native)
For any more questions, suggestions or advise please contact us. We are happy to help.

Fruit in Containers
Topiary has become quite trendy a fashionable, and for good reasons. There have never been as many beautiful and suitable varieties of fruit trees available for pot or container growing as there are right now. Since the recession there has also been a new consciousness of the value and satisfaction growing one’s own food. We live in a very busy society, and a full size orchard isn’t an option for most of us, so this is a simple and space efficient answer. Many new varieties of fruit trees are dwarf plants, so they can even be grown in pots or containers. With the installation of an automated irrigation system the problem of regular watering during the summer months is eliminated. Many new varieties are also more disease resistant, further reducing the time and cost to maintain. Some plants are suitable to be grown as topiary, while another option for growing fruit trees in small spaces is growing them as espalier.

Kids in the garden
If space in your garden is not an issue, why not develop a creative alternative play area for your kids. Kids love to run around and play hide and seek or cops and robbers. By molding and contouring the land with troughs, trenches and mounds (using logs and boards), children of different ages can climb, balance, hang and slide. You could also build the old traditional European Willow house (or a native version), plant different fruit trees in amongst the play areas, use sand, water and even clay. All this provides lots of outdoor creative play opportunities so your kids can have some real adventure right in your back yard.

Garden lighting
Create after-dark ambience with feature lighting in your garden such as illuminated garden pots, water features, up lights and more.

Lighting in a house and entranceway is the norm, and looks warm and welcoming on arrival. However at night the garden often looks gloomy and uninviting. I’d like to encourage you to look at house and garden as two aspects of a single entity, both of which benefit from the simple addition of light. It makes no difference if your garden is large or small, has hard or soft features, is modern or traditional in style; bringing light to it makes an enormous difference, and encourages people to enjoy fine evenings outdoors. If the garden is large enough to wander around, specific walks and discrete areas can be lit to create different moods and moments which may entice you further along a path or draw you into an unexpected secluded spot. Light can create illusions, and it can be a feature, in its own right. Feel free to ask us for ideas on giving your garden an after-dark makeover.

garden ideas

Water Feature by Mark Brockie