Putting in planters
‘For features such as the raised planter and walling that retains the garden beds we chose locally sourced sandstone as it doesn’t go out of fashion,’ says Morgan.
For built-in gardens waterproof membrane is essential to avoid seepage, moisture penetration and rising damp problems. Along the brick wall a
rubberised bitumen-based compound was applied to just above the soil level.
Holes for drainage were created by leaving a gap in the mortar joints, because without them water pools in the bed and rots the roots of plants
while causing structural problems.
Choosing the plants
‘The banksia tree was kept and mulched with large river stones to match the sandstone,’ Morgan says. ‘Plants had to be low-maintenance and salt-tolerant so we decided on buxus for one side and red cordylines in the planter.’
Nigel suggests soil preparation is the key to a flourishing courtyard. ‘We prepared the beds to suit hardy plants such as dracaena and yuccas. The soil in this area is sandy, which is good for drainage although nutrients tend to seep away.
‘We added lots of organic matter such as cow manure and compost, and mixed in water-holding crystals.’
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