How to get that Palm Springs garden style

Palm Springs is the ultimate in cool resort cities. Think poolside lounges, Hollywood stars, palms and cacti. It also has an average maximum temperature of 42ºC in July. While our capital city temperatures max out a bit lower, Palm Springs is a shining example of where to turn when you want a garden that’s modern, low maintenance and won’t need much watering. So, let’s break down the key elements of the style.

Sculptural, drought tolerant plants

These are the key elements that define the famous Palm Springs look and cacti instantly spring to mind. Choose a mix of heights, colours and textures to add interest, like golden cleistocactus, mother of hundreds and a prickly pear. Add clusters of mixed succulents and plantings of bright colour, like red hot pokers, low-growing banksias, euphorbia wulfenii or bougainvillea, and you’ve got yourself a garden. Add in a tall or spreading palm to provide dappled shade near your lounging area.

Image: Nicole Franzen, via Bloglovin


White walls

Palm Springs evokes images of white exterior walls and white painted breezeway blocks. White makes a great backdrop for the dramatic plants and gives the eye somewhere to rest. Channel your inner graphic designer and leave plenty of white space.

Image: Pinterest


Indoor outdoor flow

A key feature of the style is the lifestyle it brings, with a seamless flow between indoors and out. So, consider opening up your home to the garden with sliding or bi-fold doors and match the interior and exterior flooring colours and materials to enhance the effect. Another way to enhance the flow is with matched plantings inside and out – pots with mother-in-laws tongue is an easy way to achieve this look.

Image: James Haefner via Pinterest


Aromatic plants

Hollywood stars sweat just like the rest of us. Rather than overdoing it with spritzing the perfume on hot days, plan for a garden with some sweet scents. Sage, star jasmine, frangipani and the heat-tolerant daphne, Eternal Fragrance will all fit right in with their small flowers and pretty aromas.

Image: Artem Beliakin on Unsplash


Circles and curves

Palm Springs garden style is playful at its best. So, plan to add a few circular garden features, such as crushed gravel stepping stones within lawns or paths, or a highlighted garden bed featuring a spectacular cactus. This is easy to achieve with a circle kit from Link Edge, which comes pre-formed and ready to quickly nail into place. Curved garden beds are also simple to make as Link Edge’s rustproof metal garden edging features spike guides to ensure you easily create a smooth curve and garden edge that will last the distance.

Image: Pinterest


If you’d like to know more about the advantages of using Link Edge over other garden edging or where it’s stocked, visit the website.

7 Garden trends you should try in 2018

Pro tip: For edging garden beds, paths and driveways, you can’t go past Link Edge. With a modern aesthetic and safe roll top-edge, it’s easy to install, incredibly long lasting, won’t rust or crack and is great for creating curves or perfectly straight lines.

1. Unusual edible plants

Channel your inner Willy Wonka and deliver something unexpected! We’re thinking plants like the big-leaved monstera deliciosa, which produces large weird looking fruit that tastes like fruit salad. Or a gorgeous specimen that also happens to be a superfood – hello, goji berries and turmeric! Or just freak out the kids, with purple carrots. There are plenty of spectacular plants that are also edible at your local garden store or online.

2. Fauna friendly garden

We all know the importance of bees in the ecosystem. But what about the birds, butterflies, frogs, small native animals and lizards that traditionally use your postcode for their habitat? Planting native flowering trees and shrubs, and providing safe sources of water, can attract fauna back to your patch. By creating this small animal Airbnb, you’ll not only meet some cute visitors, you’ll also have hungry guests ready to eat the pesky bugs and beetles in your garden.

Image: Heather Miles, via GardenDrum

3. Outdoor room

If you want to impress your neighbours, turning a section of your garden into another living space is the way to do it. Won’t they be jealous when they sink into your sunken lounge area with oversized cushions, overhead speakers and an Aperol Spritz close at hand!

Image source:

4. Strip lighting

Of course, if building a room is out of your budget or skill set, how about a lighting upgrade?

Your local hardware store or online lighting shop should have all you need to create some drama in your garden. Think celebrity style when you do this – make a grand entrance with strip lighting under stairs, stick some beneath that gorgeous floating concrete bench you like to lounge on, and give your outdoor kitchen some bling beneath the bench tops.

Image: Dieguez Fridman architects

5. Floating seats

Speaking of floating benches, they look like a million dollars (unlike those rickety banana lounges your sister bought you). Integrated with planter boxes and leafy shrubs, floating seats provide a great spot for a gossip session with the girls and a shady outdoor spot for the kids to read. Concrete looks super expensive, while timber provides a nice contrast to any nearby hard surfaces. For extra points, add a hardy garden bed below with good-looking garden edging to keep the plants or pebbles in check.

Image: Benn + Penna, via Est

6. Coastal plantings

Create that year round beach feel at home – and make your garden low maintenance with coastal plantings. This relaxed combination of mixed succulents, native ground covers and large drifts of silver, green and blue grasses is the perfect complement to the strong lines of contemporary homes. Where you’d ordinarily use paving, used decomposed granite – it not only looks like sand, it’s cost effective too. Throw in a few tropical plants, like frangipani, for height, fragrance and colour, and you have a low key, yet gorgeous garden for the senses. We can already hear the rustle of the tall grasses!

Image: Peter Fudge Gardens


7. Greater variety of plants

The days of minimalism are waning, inside the home and out. Now is the time to express yourself in the garden. Those perfect rows of agave and cordylines neat box hedges could use some gatecrashing fun. Dig in some perennial flowering shrubs, trailing vines and a lime tree to fuel those mojitos. Work with your favourite colours or be inspired by Pantone’s colour of the year, Ultra Violet.

Image: Grounded Gardens, via The Design Files

Smash out a garden worthy of a ninja warrior.

So, you’d rather scale walls than build a retaining wall, and you avoid falling into water obstacles at all costs – that doesn’t mean you can’t create the perfect garden.

Even if you have never pulled out a weed in your life, our garden hacks can have you looking like a green thumb all year-round… And in doing so, help you free up time and space for ninja training!

Remember: planning beforehand saves on time, replacement plants and money.

Walk around your suburb and see what grows well without too much effort. If it grows on a local nature strip, it will grow in your garden!

Be realistic. If you would prefer to do nothing beyond watering, mowing and the occasional pulling up of weeds, don’t plant shrubs or vines that need trimming, or deciduous trees whose falling flowers or leaves will need raking.

Measure your space and sketch out your plans before shopping for plants. To create a green oasis, use different heights of plants with the tallest at the back. Use low maintenance hedging or spreading trees to define the ‘walls’ of your space. Or you could set up a low maintenance green wall system. See your local garden centre for recommendations.

Plan to have a focal point in the garden, such as a tree, wall art, fountain or even a fire pit. Note: a shed is not an ideal focal point!

If you are installing a fire pit, make sure it is on level ground and at least 4m away from flammable materials, such as buildings, fences, plants and overhanging trees. Also consider where the smoke might blow. Check with your local council for any restrictions.

Keep your garden beds narrow (less than 1m deep) and install edging. Any upkeep you need to do – such as reaching for the odd weed or sweeping adjacent paths – will be easy and quick.

Add hard surfaces, such as paved paths and pebble borders. As well as adding visual interest, they’ll reduce the area you need to water and tend.

Paved paths have a tendency to move over time. A quick and lasting solution to this is to install a durable and purpose-designed border system, such as aluminium edging, when laying the pavers. This also eliminates the need for ugly concrete to stabilise the pavers.

Repetition of simple details can give a sense of order and perfection. This could be as easy as repeating a well-defined mondo grass and pebble border throughout the garden.

Invest time in the front end of the project. Remove all weeds and dig in compost as you plant.

Choose low maintenance and drought-resistant plants.

Plant succulents as they don’t require much attention and thrive in poor soil.

For year-round beauty, choose plants that don’t die down in winter.

Have your plants closer than on their planting guides. This will give your garden an established look sooner and also reduce available space for weeds.

Add a sturdy border to your lawn to prevent lawn creep.

If you are also planting in pots, choose self-watering pots.

Use elements of formal gardens, such as a feature tree within the lawned area, to make a big impression without going against your low-maintenance plans. The secret is to add circular edging around the tree to keep the lawn at bay.

Make sure any borders or edging you add is durable and child-friendly. You don’t want to spend your time shepherding tiny feet away from sharp edges. Nor do you want to be replacing the edging in 5 years time. Look for a product with rolled edges, high UV and rust-resistance that is also easy to install. Products like Link Edge, which also offers a selection of powder-coated colours, are ideal.

Add mulch between the plants. It looks good, suppresses weeds, increases water retention, guards against temperature extremes and breaks down into compost eventually.

If you want a veggie patch, make it easy on yourself with well-defined beds. Raised beds reduce bending over, or for a more integrated veggie patch, create narrow garden beds with well-defined borders, so you can reach in easily, but the plants are contained.

Choose easy to grow, low maintenance veggies like lettuce, radish, Swiss chard, zucchini, tomato and cucumber.

Plant any herbs close to your house, so you are more likely to use them. Include hardy perennials, such as rosemary, sage, parsley, oregano, mint, chives and thyme, for year-round harvesting.

Consider adding an irrigation system if your garden is larger or the plants will require regular watering. Even if you don’t add one, group together the plants that have similar water requirements. This will make hand watering less complicated and quicker.

Add lighting to your garden, so you can enjoy it day and night. Solar lights are quick to get up and running, but may last less than 2 years. Wired low-voltage lights are surprisingly easy to install with the wires running under the garden beds or pavers and they can last for decades. Your local hardware store or garden centre can advise you on how to set up your ideal lighting system.


31 things that excite a gardening perfectionist.

For us perfectionist gardeners, our gardens are our ‘happy place’ – somewhere to relax and escape life’s stresses and be enjoyed all year round. While others might prefer to hit the sales or follow their favourite team, most often you’ll find us working or relaxing in our oasis of green.

We’ve compiled a list of 31 gardening-related things that give us thrills throughout the year. See how many give you a buzz…

1. A rain-free weekend

2. Using the perfect trowel

3. Multi-grafted fruit trees

4. First flowers of spring

5. Perfectly straight edges

6. Perfectly curved edges

7. Raked garden beds

8. Automatic irrigation systems

9. Heirloom vegetables

10. Growing multiple varieties

11. Saving seeds for next year

12. Blossoms on fruit trees

13. Bees on blossoms

14. Hedging plants

15. Vegetable planting day

16. Plant fairs

17. Open garden days

18. Ornamental trees

19. Herbs that don’t go to seed

20. Natural pest remedies

21. Companion planting

22. New rose releases

23. Different blooms on one stem

24. Grafting one’s own trees

25. Sharing one’s harvest

26. Homemade jams & pickled veg

27. Freshly mowed lawn

28. Bulb planting time

29. Sharp, oiled tools

30. Everything in its place

31. Neatly edged lawn

This one improvement can help you flip your property fast.

Whether you’re planning to flip your property now or in a year, there’s one improvement that can give you a return many times greater than your spend. And it can get your investment sold quicker!Before we reveal what the improvement is, take a moment to imagine you’re house hunting. Every real estate agent will tell you that street appeal is important. But what does that mean exactly?

Beyond the obvious explanation that it’s about making everything look good, street appeal is also what your home communicates to potential buyers. A facade with peeling paint, or giant weeds poking up through cracks in the concrete, suggests more work awaits inside.

Now imagine that the paintwork is in good condition, as is the roof, there’s a fresh white gravel path to the door and the gardens are green and lush. Perhaps too lush…

What if you buy this house and have to spend every second week in the garden? What if you let it get overgrown? What will your neighbours or friends and family think? How much will you have to spend on gardening services? Are there other things inside the house that will need regular attention? Is this really the right house for you? Maybe you should just look elsewhere.

Now imagine that same home with the gravel path and a garden that’s green and lush. But this time it feels low maintenance and manageable. You think that if you live here, you’ll have a great lifestyle. Your weekends will be free. You can relax. You can entertain. And you won’t have to worry about Auntie Jane tripping while navigating past the garden beds.

So, what makes the difference – and adds thousands to your flipper’s value?

It’s neatly defined lawns, paths and garden beds.

With a simple, unobtrusive border defining your garden elements, you convey the message that everything’s easily under control and where it should be. The borders don’t have to be high or wide or expensive, like concrete or bricks or timber – anyway, these could still trip up Auntie Jane – but there should be borders.

Choosing the right border is a matter of personal taste, but some things to consider are:

  • Material – its ability to withstand UV rays and resist rusting, and how long it will last
  • Safety – some borders and edging materials have rolled edges to make them safe for bare feet
  • Height – different areas may require different edge heights; look for a product offering multiple heights to give consistency across your project
  • Colour – nowadays you’re not restricted to green or russet-coloured plastic or naked steel; there are some new options on the market, such as powder-coated aluminium, offering
  • contemporary or neutral colours to suit every application
  • Ease of use – how the edges link together and how it stays upright are important; you don’t want to abandon a project because it all gets too hard
  • Designer features – are kits available if you want to form circles or squares around trees etc
  • Heavy duty – if want to edge your driveway as well, check if a heavy duty option is available.

The good news is that if you choose the right border or edge, such as Link Edge, you get to enjoy the benefits immediately… And, when you’re ready to flip the property, you will have nailed it for ‘street appeal’.

How to Tell if You’re a Natural Born Gardening Perfectionist

For most of us, gardening is a relaxing hobby. It is an opportunity to spend time outdoors in gentle exercise as we tend our patch and coax plants into bloom. Others are natural born gardening perfectionists – the need for order and perfection are paramount and nothing will stop them from the completing a task at hand!

Read on to see how many gardening perfectionist traits you have.

1. You believe deadheading roses is a daily task.

2. You spend your lunch money on ‘potted colour’ plants.

3. You devote the days before an overseas holiday to gardening rather than packing.

4. You secretly scan your friends’ social media accounts for flaws in their gardens.

5. You garden at dusk regardless of how many mosquitoes are out.

6. You plait the wilted leaves of your bulb plants to make them prettier until lifting day.

7. You mark on the calendar when you pruned the rose bushes and the date they will bloom.

8. You can’t bear to see shoe imprints on your garden beds.

9. You run your team of helpers like a commanding officer, regardless of their ages.

10. You respond to compliments about your garden by pointing out its faults.

11. You constantly replace underperforming plants to get that fresh-from-the-garden-centre look.

12. You have lost countless hours obsessing over garden ideas on Pinterest.

13. You feel embarrassed when your plants have pests or diseases.

14. You believe a defined edge is more important than a hot meal.

15. You search online for a specific colour of compost bin.

16. You measure the soil temperature with a garden thermometer.

17. You measured the soil temperature with the family’s thermometer when no one was looking.

18. You use your security spotlights to keep working past nightfall.

19. You always, always double dig your garden beds.

20. You use a string line to trim your hedges straight.

21. You buy an extra seed pack so that you are certain to fill all 24 cells in the seed tray.

22. You phone gardening talk back shows to give the hosts tips and advice.

23. You are obsessed with shoes – because gumboots, clogs and wellies all count as shoes.

24. You expect 24 traits in this quiz. Not 23.

9 things you don’t want to find in your backyard.

1. Grave headstone

This really happened to friends of mine. They were redoing their garden beds, hacking through the thick forests that had sprouted thanks to the previous owner’s green thumbs. The idea was to free up more space and add a neat patch of lawn for their baby to crawl on. Finding the headstone was not in the plans. Needless to say, neither of the couple were keen to excavate the beds to more than a spade-deep. And the new grass was laid in record time.

2. Termites

You know that dead or dying tree you’re ignoring in the corner that’s like a ready-made maternity hospital and food hall for termites? It may not seem such a big deal until you realise that less than 50m away is your home with delicious timber floors, roof joists and beams. And that linking them 20cm below ground is the Autobahn of the termite world. Pull out the tree and spend a few weekends in the garden removing old tree stumps, timber palings and garden edging, and anything else that looks ter-mighty delicious. While you’re at it, call in the pest inspector too.

3. Sinkhole

Another true story close to my heart… Although this time it was in a friend’s front yard, but not the friend who found the gravestone because that would be really bad luck… One day they walked out the front door to find a large section of their concrete driveway and most of their plants halfway to China.

4. A raging inferno

There’s a lot to be said for hard surfaces in landscaping… For a start, they don’t burn like overgrown lawns or rotten railway sleepers. Secondly, you can add a fire pit or brazier and roast marshmallows 24/7. Give me river pebbles, crazy paving and zen gardens any day!

5. Rabid dog

This is where your slack attitude comes back to bite you. When your parents repeatedly told you to shut the front door, they meant the side gate too. So, if you find a ferocious rabid dog in your backyard, you only have yourself to blame. Pray the dog is petrified. And by that I mean turned into stone because some concrete garden statues can look cool. Concrete borders, on the other hand, are never cool.

6. Eastern brown snake

Ophidiophia is something I totally get. And I’m not alone as fear of snakes is the most commonly reported phobia. If you live in Australia, the odds are at least once in your lifetime, you’re going to have the chance to unleash your fear response – bloodcurdling screams and all! The eastern brown snake is what Hollywood would call a triple threat: fast moving, aggressive and venomous. It’s also the world’s second most venomous snake. How to lessen the likelihood of sharing your patch with one? Maintain a neat garden, remove discarded building materials and don’t encourage rats and mice. They’re like crack candy for jittery brown snakes.

7. The Sales Samurai

Don’t ask why. Just watch and learn.

8. Blue green algae

Despite its pretty colour, cyanobacteria (its proper name) can be toxic to humans and animals. Consequences for humans and animals coming into contact with it in contaminated water range from rashes, blisters and lesions to death. Maybe it’s time to fill in that stagnant pond and plant a weeping mulberry instead?

9. Someone else’s yard

WTF? Have you ever been to a neighbour’s BBQ and had a sense you share more than a postcode? Like, doesn’t everyone have a leafy planted border around a rectangular patch of lawn with a citrus tree, a shed in the corner and an alfresco dining area near the house? Boring! It’s time to put down that craft beer, pick up the paper napkin and get planning. What about a tightly spiralling garden path leading to a rock where you can sit until the vertigo eases? Or a lawn shaped like a bunny? Or a sunken trampoline for the kids? Or a simple Cubist masterpiece executed in garden edging and coloured gravel? Bet they don’t have that next door! This, my friend, is the future of backyards – and it’s calling your name very loudly!