Landscaping Tips

ideas and tips for your landscaping work

   Nov 15

Earthmoving Machines For Beginners

Are you looking at re-designing the layout of your backyard? Or perhaps you’re just cleaning up some land?

If you’re a beginner when it comes to earth moving work and planning, why not start by learning a bit about the machinery used?

Most people use names interchangeably when it comes to earth moving equipment, which in most cases is completely fine, but not when you completely confuse yourself.  Additionally there are different nick names associated with some of the machinery, which for the beginner, is also quite daunting.

Let’s get to know our earth moving machinery:

Mini Loader:

Also known as (Dingo, Kanga or Little Bobcat)

Your mini loader is what people like to refer to as the miniature bobcat, because it’s basically the same as a bobcat, but is more compact and is used for smaller jobs.  You can stand on a small platform on the back to guide and steer. Or some radio controlled skid loaders are simply controlled by an external operator, without the operator on machine. These machines do not require a license to operate. Your mini loader is perfect for movement of soil, mulch, gravel and clay.

mini loader

Excavator and Mini Excavator:

Your excavator is built to undertake large jobs in demolition, mining, river dredging and digging trenches. However you can also use this machine to undertake material handling and extreme lifting. There are two different types of excavator, one with four wheels, and others that have tracks. Operator of the excavator is in a secure driving seat, with four glass walls.  On the end of an excavator is a bucket with teeth that can claw through all different surfaces and move accordingly.



As the name suggests this type of earth moving machinery is built to dump, meaning it holds a large load of soil or materials, and then dumps it. Usually the dumper is used to assist other machinery as it will hold all remnants or earth that requires placement in a different area. You will recognise a dumper by large 4 wheels with the load in the front of the driver seat.

Skid Steer Loader and Mini (Bobcat:

Most commonly referred to in the earth moving sector is the bobcat, or Skid Steer Loader. Your bobcat has 4 wheels and has a bucket on the end to pick up soil and earth, although you can change the bucket with other attachments. Operating a bobcat requires the person to be safely sitting inside the front cage; however you require a license to operate. Most commonly the skid steer loader is used for moving and leveling soil. Additionally it is used to move mulch, sand and conduct site cleans.


Now you should have a handy basic understanding of the machinery utilised in all earth moving projects, and this should ensure you know exactly what your property requires. Some of this machinery will require qualified operators and some don’t, it’s best to contact a bobcat hire specialist to enquire.


   Nov 08

The Perfect Pond

Are you thinking about adding a pond into your backyard or on your property? Many people utilise the naturalistic beauty of a pond in their backyard, with some choosing to add fish.  Ponds come in all shapes and sizes, with many different types. With all different pond types there are many ways to install and put them together, as some people choose to buy more parts and accessories than others.

You really need to make the decision about how much money you’re willing to spend, how much time you want to put into the job, and whether you want to build everything yourself from scratch? Or you can get a professional landscaper to handle it all.

Pond Kit:

In a lot of cases people choose to go with a pond kit, as it gives you everything you need to build a pond. When choosing a pond kit you can select one that will be suitable for your backyard, as there are many different designs to choose.  In your pond kit you will get a liner, pump, all plumbing components and instructions (as well as other pieces that are unique to the pond you’ve chosen, such as the pond waterfall). Most people installing a pond will go with a complete pond kit, just because it saves the hassle of buying all the pieces separately and completing all the measurements. Usually buying a pond kit leaves less room for error.


Putting Together Your Own Pond:

Putting together your own pond is a little more difficult and time consuming, however you have more creative choice. Some people will enjoy creating a pond from scratch as it can fill you with accomplishment, however when tackling this task you need to plan and act carefully.

The Basics:

  • Pond Liner ( can be a preformed insert, PVC, Butyl rubber)
  • Pond Filter
  • Pump
  • UV Filter

-Your first step when creating your own pond is to outline the shape of your pond onto the ground, use sand or small rocks to get a basis. You can adjust the shape until its suitable, without making any major mistakes.

-You can dig the hole of the pond to varying depths, however you’ll need to dig deeper in the area where the pump will go. Do some research before choosing on a particular depth.

-Once the hole has been created your next step is to place the pond liner in the hole, when using Butyl rubber you should make sure you have it cut to a size that’s bigger than the pond, enough that the rubber overlaps the edges. You’ll have to place rocks on top of the edges in order to secure the rubber.

-Use heavy rocks to then line the entire pond, and then pour in some starting water to hold down the bottom, before you place in the pump. You want all your rocks to be heavy (and stack-able if the depth is longer than a single rock) as they need to keep your rubber lining in place.

– Next step is to set up the pump. You’ll need to place a flat stone where the deeper hole is, as the pump will need to sit on a flat surface. You then will need to follow instructions on connecting your hose to pump. Make sure you do this safely as there are definite safety risks if you don’t connect your pump properly.

-You will need to look at more extensive work when you’re including a waterfall with your pond, however many people do choose to have a waterfall as it creates water flow.

  • If you want more specific information on putting together a pond you’ll need to follow instructions relating to a particular style, as there is no ‘one’ type of instructions.

pond 1

Some Tips:

  • If you want to put fish in your pond you’ll need to have the depth 15th feet or more. If fish do not have enough water they can struggle without oxygen.
  • Make sure that you pick the size of your pond in relation to the rest of your backyard, you need to choose whether you want it as a small feature, or central feature to your landscape.
  • It’s essential that you choose the right area to install a pond, as uneven ground will be a major hassle when trying to build your pond. You won’t be able to place a preformed pond base into an uneven ground, if it has a flat base.
  • Decorate your pond with water plants! A pond can be decorated with beautiful naturalistic plants, so make sure you at all your options.

pond 2

Whether you choose to go with the easier option in the Pond Kit, or decide to put your creative energy into constructing your own pond, you’ll need some firm planning. With so many pond types available you’ll have an enjoyable time looking through your options, and will eventually find one that’s perfect for your property.



   Oct 04

Landscaping Ideas For A Side Yard…

Are you one of those people with great landscaping ideas but don’t really have the backyard to achieve your landscaping ambitions? If you think in the right way the size and shape of your backyard shouldn’t deter you from transforming your outdoor area into something magical.

Instead of looking at grandiose landscaping ideas for large backyards, concentrate on what land you have to work with, then do some thorough research. On the internet you can find landscaping ideas for a wide range of backyards, and that mixed with your own ideas, well, the results can be fantastic.

water fountain

In particular some people only have a small side yard, or have a side yard leading onto more space. Whether you only have a side yard to work with, or just have one in addition to the rest of your land, you can do a lot with this space. If have got a side yard leading onto further land  it’s important to try and create a side yard which reflects the overall design of the remaining yard space. However if you only have a side yard to work with then you can let your creative juices run rampant.

What you can do with a Side Yard?

– Creating a pathway is one of the easiest and most effective ways to utilise a side yard. When looking at different ways to create a path you can be very creative and cost effective, it’s not always about how glossy or pristine the result is. You can use the likes of stepping stones, pebbles or concrete. Pretty much any material that’s going to withstand the weather is a good idea.

-In this small space you may not be able to install a pool, however you can create a beautiful garden bed. If you have a passion for growing flowers and foliage then this is the perfect spot for a feature garden bed. Make your garden bed stand out with bright flowers when this is the only space you have. Or grow some flowers or plants that will compliment the style of the rest of your backyard. Depending on how much light reaches your side yard will determine what sort of plants you can include.

-Not only are garden beds great ideas for side yards, but you can also plant some of your own produce with the creation of veggie garden. Like the garden bed you can either plant straight into the ground with the right soil, or create a raised bed, this is simply personal choice. However the raised garden bed provides you more control when it comes to soil and maintenance.

-A water feature is another spectacular idea for a side yard, as you can find a range of small fountains that will suit your yard. However you also need to take into consideration the running costs a fountain if you choose to go with this idea, not everyone will be interested in adding to electricity costs.

-You could also have some fun buying ornaments or statues, as these pieces of art can really add that extra spark to a bland side yard. If you carefully decorate your side yard with a feature statue, or a sequence of ornaments, blending in your personal style is easy.

-Lastly, you can go with the very simple and cost effective idea of potted plants. If you choose to go with potted plants you can also bring forth your own favourites, however this will be dependent on sun exposure.

Plants that appreciate full sun:


-Annuals: Petunias, pansies

-Pelargoniums and Geraniums


-New Zealand Flax


Plants that appreciate shade:

–         Clivia

–         Daphne

–         Camellias

–         Azaleas

–         Ponytail


With all these different ideas regarding side yards, you can’t really feel restricted when it comes to landscaping. You only need to look outside the box and analyse your space appropriately. You’ll find many more ideas all over the internet, with accompanying pictures. Just do your research and you’ll be absolutely inspired by what’s out there.

If you require any professional landscaping assistance then contact Landscaping Noosa- Dolphin Landscaping.


   Sep 24

Which retaining wall suits you?

If you’re looking at buying a house on an uneven load, or already own a house on uneven land, there is going to be a lot to think about when it comes to landscaping. You may have to make some tough decisions if you have some different ideas on how you want your backyard or front yard to look.

When you have uneven land you have only minimal options when it comes to landscaping, you can go out and spend the money to get it leveled, or go with more the more traditional solution of implementing a retaining wall.  Although it seems like you have been restricted when it comes to landscaping design you’ll be quite surprised at the how eye catching your outdoor area can look. You’re creativity hasn’t been squashed, you just need to think outside the box if you want to get the look you desire.

retaining wall 1

Why the retaining wall is a good idea…

With the addition of retaining walls in your front or backyard you can enhance, not hinder, your design.  Although retaining walls are primarily a practical measure for those with uneven ground, it can also be a a great addition in terms of style. Not only can you have visually pleasing retaining walls, but you can also have very affordable options. You’ll definitely find that including retaining walls is going to be a cheaper method in most cases.

retaining wall 2

So what type of retaining walls are there ?

If you’ve decided to go with retaining walls in your backyard then you’ll be amazed at all the different types of retaining walls that can be built. Make sure you do some thorough research on all the different types of retaining walls before choosing one particular style, as there are many different benefits. Choosing a retaining wall will also depend on what your entire backyard landscape design is, and whether the retaining wall will blend in with ease.

Your choices:

-Mortar Rock

-Timber Slats

-Crib Wall

-Precast Block

-Rock caged in wire

-River Rocks with concrete






Looking at this list you can see there are a bunch of different materials and set-ups, so you really need to look at all the different options. Obviously the stand out in terms of low price is the tyre walls, this type of retaining wall will save you some money, and with creativity can be a quirky addition to your property.

tyre wall

Things to think about before committing…

What is your soil type? Whether you have hard or soft soil can be factor in how much your retaining walls can end up costing, in terms of labour and materials.

Price? You have to have a grasp on your price range when it comes to choosing the right retaining wall, not all will be right for your budget.

Height and legalities? With the help of professional landscapers you’ll be able to determine what sort of legalities you are looking at when it comes to height restrictions etc.

In different states there may be different rules regarding retaining walls. In Perth if the retaining wall is higher than 500mm then you will need a Building Permit and Planning Approval. Height is measured from natural ground level to the top of the wall.

If you think a retaining wall can greatly enhance your uneven landscape, or is the best option in terms of cost, then make sure you suss out all the designs available.

You can have retaining walls built with the team at Landscaping Campbelltown- Brally Landsapes PTY LTD or simply get some professional advice.


   Mar 21

The New Trend: Artificial Turf

Are you still watering your grass and attempting to revive it naturally? Although we all deeply want to have real, natural grass in our family backyards it’s not always viable. With the endless summer heat still continuing into March it looks as though things might need to change, and maybe it needs to start with your choice of grass. Synthetic grass is an option that will leave you with many benefits and it’s time we went through some of them, to reinforce some important facts.

Artificial Grass and It’s major benefits.

-Synthetic grass is low maintenance. Once you buy you beloved turf there is no need to water it, right there, is a major cost effective benefit. With all the hot summers killing our natural grass you will find a big difference in the water bill.  This is probably the biggest pro of artificial turf.

– It is always going to look a lot neater than your natural grass, because natural grass has a life of it’s own, synthetic turf is under your direct control. All you need to do is clean anything that falls upon it, such as leaves or branches.

-You’re synthetic grass is going to last a lot longer than your natural grass, wear and tear is minimal. Yes, it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced, but you will notice that this won’t happen too quickly.

While natural grass probably feels better, and is a natural growth, it isn’t economically the best choice anymore. If you’re looking at saving money then this is the way forward for many people.


Artificial grass

   Mar 21

Decorating around a new pool, the options.

Have you just given in to the idea of purchasing an in ground pool? We all the know the excitement and worry that comes with making a big purchase such as this one, but luckily we embrace all new shiny things pretty quickly. However making the choice of what pool to purchase is another lengthy process, it involves professional advice, design and focus.  First and foremost you want you pool to match your outdoor surroundings, and in making this choice you are likely to re-consider your surroundings. You may end up deciding to re-design you whole backyard to suit the pool, sometimes this can be inevitable in terms of space and infrastructure. So what’s out there for pool and backyard design?

Ornamental decoration…

If you want to make the design of pool a really different and unique, then ornamental structures or pieces are exactly what you need. Included in this category I’d include specific ceramic pieces that you either have separate to the pool structure, or attached to feature walls. These can be pretty much anything, statues of pure design, or actual statues of animals. I’ll also include the likes of rocks as detached ornamental pieces, they can easily be placed around the pool area, however this has very obvious risks. If you have young children or over active dare devils in your family, probably best to steer clear from anything too sharp around the pool.  Dressing around the pool can be very creative, so keep your eyes peeled at all sorts of ornaments or pieces.

Natural decoration…

It’s almost unheard of not to put some greenery around the home pool, as it brings the pool to it’s natural surroundings. Some people like to plant a lot of shrubbery around their pool, in order to make it look like a natural lake or water hole. In most cases these are very beautiful and tasteful designs, but alas they can be very high maintenance and expensive.  A part from the forest feature wall aspects there is also small natural additives you can select, such as plants in pots. Plants in small pots are very simple, but can just give the pool the spark it needs.

You can also add grass around the pool, and in this case it’s probably best to get artificial grass. You can get all sorts of artificial grass but there are a few types that a better suited the home. You wouldn’t be getting short length grass that is meant for a tennis court of sporting surface. Nor would you choose coloured artificial grass, unless you were creating a kids area. You are likely to go with something that is not too long but long enough to pass as a natural look.

Water features…

Depending on how much you want to spend on your pool you can invest in some pretty neat water features.  Most commonly there are waterfall features that are attached to a wall on your pool. You can get many designs and looks for the waterfall. I don’t think there is anyone who doesn’t fall in love with a pool that has a waterfall feature, but it’s an additional cost if you don’t really need it. Water jets are also lovely additions for around the pool, they are designed so that water filters back through into the pool, in order not to waste water. Lastly I’ll briefly mention lighting, most people who purchase pools will invest in underwater lighting, to make night time pool adventures illuminating. You can get all sorts of colours, and ones that change colours.





So if you’ve decided to go with a pool, have a think about all these options before choosing the actual pool. Designing around the pool affects the eventual pool choice. Enjoy the summer days.


   Feb 28

A weather solution. Landscaping doesn’t need to be a nightmare.

It seems like more than ever Australia is fighting off the horrendous weather extremes. A country full of nasty weather bouts, that really has everyone thinking twice about everything. Safety and economical costs are at the forefront of our minds. So when it comes to the luxury items there really isn’t much space to get it wrong, especially when it means losing money or putting family or friends at risk.  Extreme weather is something that we must tackle effectively, and keeping your family home weather proof is essential.

Weather extremes at our footstep…

– Storms

-Bush fires


However we shouldn’t have to give up our livelihood in order to bow down to the threatening weather, instead we adapt.  There are many things we can do to enhance the durability of our homes without sacrificing the aesthetic beauty. If you are pondering over what to do with the grassland that you call you backyard, think about an option that will bring a bit of class to your location, one that could also increase your social life. Try a concrete patio, durable and smart.

Outdoor Walkway Tile


With a concrete style patio you are provided many benefits:

-Durable/Weather Resistant

-Easy Maintenance

-Variety of design

-Less issues with vegetation growth (weeds growing through)

Venturing into a backyard with a lovely entertaining area is always what makes the best of people jealous, and with the help of a bit of landscaping you’ll be the proud home owner. It is certainly the right choice when you are trying to build an entertaining area that is resistant to the weather/weather damage.

If you need help with organising a concrete patio within your local Sydney area, Northern Beaches landscaping is local.

   Feb 28

Feeling the crunch? Cost Effective Landscaping is a must!

Stuck staring at those nasty bills on the table? Finding it impossible to scrounge up some money to fulfill your dreams and lavish fantasies?

We all know the feeling of looking at our once inspired outdoor areas and asking ourselves what exactly went wrong? It was once a long term project for the weekend, but suddenly things went sour. First it was loss of imagination, then the kids needed a lift, then the weekends slowly became catch up days for work.  It’s not exactly like you forgot, the backyard is still staring you straight in the eyes, begging for some attention.  Finally you get the courage to pick yourself up and get planning. However there is one problem, this is looking expensive.  Well how about we think about this a bit more.

How can you reach the depths of that fantasy outdoor area without throwing away your savings?

Lets go solar?

How about it? Not long ago solar was this wonderfully amusing new invention, solar lights were just small quirk to add to the garden. Now things have changed. Look anywhere and you can find solar lights to suit any outback design.  You can buy small in- conspicuous lights that merely serve to shine some low lighting on a garden footpath, or ones to scatter in between your garden shrubbery.  There are ones to go on walls, or ones to hang in high places. It’s even possible to have ones that sit in hanging baskets, neat.  No longer is solar an unusual choice, it has to be a real option if we want to balance out all our needs. With all the different designs still being produced it won’t be long before solar is the optimum choice, because it no longer lacks in style.


solar lighting

Solar is the choice when it comes to adding that sparkle to your new pool. You can now get a wide range of designs for around the edging of the pool deck, underwater solar lights inbuilt into the sides of the pool and even those nice fancy lights that float on top of the water. So why haven’t you thought about getting a pool?

Paths vs Grass? Vs how much I actually want to maintain my outdoor living area.

In terms of what is cheaper out of using natural grass or creating your own path, it really comes down to your vision.  Do you want your garden to be that of wildlife habitat, natural and crisp? Or are you finding yourself entranced in the modern abstract style? In terms of creating paths for your garden there are many options, some a little pricey and others extremely affordable.  Instead of buying pavers with intricate designs, there’s always sand or granite.  Just because you are using cheaper materials doesn’t mean you need to lack in quality of design, its all about doing your research. A creative mind can master a wide range of ideas for creating paths, without looking through expensive paving brochures. However paving doesn’t have to be pricey if you look and have patience.  Placing lawn is going to be somewhat more expensive but the range allows you to choose ones that won’t eat money.

Or, like most, you could find the perfect balance between using both options.

Be the scavenger.

Something we often forget is that save money we really need to look outside the square. In order to get that ideal outdoor living area you need to be prepared to get out there in the elements, or online, and find the bargains.  If you are an avid online bargain queen or king then you already have the skills you need to create this outdoor dream-scape. If not, then learn from your fellow money hoarders, find places that will provide you with free or cheap off cuts of materials.  There are always places that have over catered for themselves, or friends. This is your chance to get your bargaining hat on and find anything you can get your hands on.


So be brave, remember that idea you had in your mind, and go for it. 

Don’t forget to ask for some professional help also, sometimes we need help to achieve that dream…if your looking for  help then you can contact Landscaping Blue Mountains- Clifford’s Landscapes