The 7 Best Plants To Boost Your Curb Appeal

It is common knowledge that first impressions are lasting. And nowhere is this more true than with your home. The curb appeal of your house is often determined by your front garden.

Whatever the size and situation of yours, there are plants that will instantly improve the street view of your home. Here, we share our top five.
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1. Flowering Fruit Trees

Fruit trees are both functional and beautiful. Many have spectacular blossoms in spring, fruit all summer and even bright foliage in autumn. Because of the wide range available, you are sure to find the perfect specimen. If you would rather skip the fruit, there are also stunning ornamental varieties. The long drooping boughs of weeping cherry trees are beautiful both when covered in flowers and bare in the winter.
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2. A Healthy Lawn

If you have the space and soil for it, a well-manicured lawn is one of the most effective additions to a front yard or nature strip. A healthy lawn adds a classic and appealing element. Matched with a simple bordering garden, it lets strong architectural elements of your home shine. Lawns do take some upkeep though, so choose your grass variety well and know how to maintain it.

3. Evergreen Trees and Shrubs

Even though all mature trees and shrubs are likely to contribute to your curb appeal, evergreen trees will do so year round. Find an attractive tree that is easy to prune or cultivate a fast growing shrub to act as a hedge. An added bonus is that you won’t spend all of autumn raking up dead leaves!
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4. Australian Natives

Australia has an incredible array of native flora. Whether it is creeping ground cover, dramatic eucalypt trees or striking flowering shrubs, there is sure to be a native plant to suit gardens of any size and style. Best of all, many Australian natives are notoriously hardy and drought resistant. A native garden is also more likely to attract attractive visitors such as lorikeets.

5. Low Maintenance Succulents

A low maintenance garden doesn’t have to look like one. There are many types of succulents – from compact specimens to towering cacti. Much like native plants, succulents and their relatives are very hardy and versatile. They are especially appropriate for sunnier, exposed gardens. Succulents can make for highly dramatic and sculptural curb appeal.
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6. Flowers

A flowerbed will instantly make your house look more homely and welcoming. There are flowering plants available that will thrive in any Australian garden at any time of the year. Spring especially is a great time to pick up some blossoms that will add a riot of colour to your street aspect.

7. Pot Plants

Not all houses have the benefit of a generous front yard. If you are stuck for space or have a wide veranda, potted plants are a great alternative. Well-positioned pot plants can add eye-catching curb appeal. For instance, try placing two sculptural trees in pots either side of your front door. The best thing about pot plants is that you can move them around on a whim. Just remember to water thoroughly – pots dry out quicker than a normal garden.

The Top Five Natural Bug Repellents For Your Garden

You don’t need to resort to harmful pesticides and toxic chemicals to keep your garden safe from pests. Pests generally build up a tolerance to artificial pesticides anyway, so alternatives are often much more efficient.
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Here, we share our top five tips for protecting your garden, the natural way.

1. Keep Your Garden In Good Nick.

Some basic garden maintenance will help you scare off the bugs. Weeds and dead plants make a great habitat for pests – make sure to keep your garden beds clean and trim.

Healthy soil creates strong plants that are better prepared to fight off attacks from insects and disease. Organic waste and manure are great natural fertilisers. Mulching and deep watering are vital for keeping your soil and hence your garden healthy.

2. Use Companion Planting.

Clever planting can act as a natural defence against insects. Companion planting is a time-tested technique. Certain plants act as natural protection for their more desirable neighbours. Wormwood for example produces a bitter scent that will scare off insects. The strong scent of lavender, sage and tomatoes helps to mask other, tastier plants near to them. Dill and fennel attract helpful insects that prey on leaf-eating pests. As a bonus, biodiversity will naturally attract pollinators likes bees. Certain combinations are even believed to improve the growth and taste of each plant.

3. Protect Yourself Along With Your Garden.

Mosquitos and flies hate the smell of basil. Pots of basil placed next to open windows and doors will stop these pesky visitors ruining your next BBQ. Still pools of water are also the perfect breeding ground for mosquito larvae – try to avoid letting stagnant water collect in pots or ponds.

4. Make Your Own Organic Pesticides.

There are a whole host of natural, chemical free pesticides that will help ward off pests without harmful side effects. You can prepare solutions from common everyday supplies.

Do you find garlic a bit pungent? So do insects. Chop up a few cloves of garlic, a couple of hot chillies and an onion and leave to steep in warm water for a couple of days. When ready, just add a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid, dilute in a litre of water and pour over plants.

Leftover coffee grounds spread around the base of your lettuce will also help keep snails and slugs at bay. With some research, you will find that there are plenty of natural remedies to help you fight off whatever pests are plaguing you.

5. Attract Some Allies.

There are plenty of creatures that will appreciate the chance to take pests off your hands. Lacewings and ladybirds devour aphids and grubs without attacking the plant. To attract them, mix a simple paste of yeast powder and sugar and dilute with water to spray over plants.

Larger predators are especially efficient. Provide a birdbath and native flowering trees to attract native birds such as cockatoos and fantails. A clean pond with a few logs can bring in native frogs and dragonflies, which are fantastic pest control. Hens are also avid bug eaters, and can give you a fresh supply of eggs to boot! But chickens can develop a taste for your plants too, so it pays to keep an eye on them.

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How to Choose the Right Shade Cloth for Your Plants

Australian weather conditions can be pretty harsh. Thankfully, shade cloth is a durable, knitted or woven material that can be used to protect against the sun’s rays and harsh elemental exposure.

Though it has multiple uses from dust containment to outdoor advertising, shade cloth is popular amongst gardeners. It is an inexpensive and effective way to tailor gardening conditions and ensure a fruitful harvest. The cloth can last for years – and this means long-term protection against too much sun or rain, drying winds, mildew, frost or chemicals. In addition, shade cloth comes in a range of colours to suit the theme and style of any yard.
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How Can Shade Cloth Be Used In A Garden?

Plants need the sun to grow and flourish, but different varieties have unique light and heat preferences. For relief from summer heat, and to control the amount of light penetration, you can hang shade cloth over freestanding covers, ferneries or pergolas. For smaller spaces, shade cloth can be used to create shade houses also – raised garden beds with solid arching, covered with shade cloth. Alternatively, you can use shade cloth more sparingly to suit; drape it over individual pots or self-made structures, or wrap the cloth around stakes or piping.

Shade cloth is available in a range of UV stabilised densities so you can choose how much sun your covered plants receive. Most retailers offer densities of 30 per cent, 50 per cent, 70 per cent and 90 per cent. The 70 per cent cloth is great for covering pergolas and gazebos; 30 per cent is also popular to encourage plant growth.

How do I choose the right shade cloth for gardening?

Depending on the environment, your space and types of greenery, you may want to research different types of shade cloth. To see what variations are available, read below. Please note this is a rough guide; we suggest you seek advice from local nurseries about ideal sun exposure of your favourite plants as well.

  • Knitted shade cloth: This shade cloth, made from lightweight polyethylene, features a longer lifespan and is easy to install. It can withstand horticultural chemicals and is UV resistant.
  • Woven shade cloth: This shade cloth has less stretch than knitted shade cloth, but is UV stabilised to withstand the harshest rays.
  • Aluminet shade cloth: Made from high-density polyethylene, this type of shade cloth is typically used to moderate greenhouse temperatures. It reflects unwanted heat in the daytime but keeps plants warm when the temperature dips. It also repels insects and frost.

What is a density percentage?

Shade cloth is knitted or woven to permit a certain amount of sun penetration. In addition to the level of UV protection you need, consider which percentage of sun blockage is best for the plants in your backyard.

  • 30 per cent to 60 per cent: Mostly used for vegetables, fruit trees, and nurseries.
  • 70 per cent: Often used in greenhouses. Also suitable for sheltering livestock from some sun.
  • 90 per cent: Provides adequate shade for field workers, animals and ornamental plants. Also helpful as ground cover to inhibit weed growth.

The team at Site Shade supplies various types of shade cloth across Australia. To purchase some for your garden today, contact them on 1300 721 663.

Why Use Printed Shade Cloth for Outdoor Advertising?

With all of the advertising options available today, it’s easy to look past the basics. Printed shade cloth is a simple, affordable and effective choice for anyone looking to promote a business. It is resilient and widely used for building or construction sites, crowd control barriers and multi-level scaffolding. 

Shade cloth is highly customisable and tailored to fit around the perimeter of your project. The cloth can be endorsed with your company logo, text, images or contact information; the possibilities are endless. What began as a solution for keeping dust under control with moderate visibility, the printed shade cloth has become one of the most popular and accessible advertising tools on the market.

Maximise creativity

Quickly and easily design or transfer your own logo onto a professional grade mesh banner to bring more buzz to your brand. Most shade cloth providers offer digital design services so you’ll see a preview before the product is made, giving you the power to pick and choose what you like.

Site Shade Creativity

 

Budget friendly

Savvy project managers are turning to shade cloth as a respectable outdoor advertising medium that keeps costs low. Other advertising methods require thousands of copies to be made and distributed. With a shade cloth, you know exactly where your money is going.

Site Shade Budget Friendly

Built to last

The materials used to create printed shade cloth are made to endure various climates. Because the printing process is crafted for the outdoors, you can rest assured that the ink won’t scratch off or run (another advantage over other screen-printed ads). The sturdiest type of shade cloth is made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), which is known for its reliability under the most extreme weather conditions and never disintegrates.

Site Shade Built to Last

Customised fit

What’s special about printed shade cloth is that each banner is made for a specific project. It’s available in various colours, heights, and widths to maximise the space. The cloth is made to fit your particular space requirements, and saves you wasting time searching for signs, simple banners or stencils that match the area’s dimensions.

Site Shade Customised Fit

Great exposure

Imagine your logo draped across a multi-storey building. Shade cloth is made to be exceptionally visible to the public, from drivers to pedestrians. The purpose is to bring awareness to your brand; one of those passers-by could be your next client who found your contact information printed on the shade cloth you organised.

Highly functional

In addition to promotional purposes, shade cloth is an excellent tool for environmental protection for whatever perimeter it protects. The eco-friendly material is known to provide excellent UV sun protection, contain debris, minimise dampness and promote ventilation.

How to Map Out a Vegetable Garden

Biting into a tasty veggie that you’ve grown in your own backyard is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Gardening is so much more than simply planting seeds; there are specific topics to explore as you plan your harvest. Cultivating your own vegetable garden doesn’t have to be complicated, and we’ve compiled a few essentials to consider before digging in.

How to Map Out a Vegetable Garden

Access your space

Work with what you’ve got. Take a look at the space you’ve chosen to start your vegetable garden. Once you identify the strengths and challenges of your yard, you can find vegetables to match your specific environment. Keep in mind:

  • Size: Before you place your shovel in the soil, decide how much space you’re prepared to maintain…and how much produce you can eat! Start small, there is no need to spend heaps of time and energy if a small bounty is all you’re after. As your interest and confidence in gardening increase, so can your garden. 
  • Climate: Some vegetables need a warm, sunny home while others enjoy low temperatures and a cool environment. What is your space like? Most vegetables require “full sun” meaning they need at least six hours of sun per day; if not, they won’t bear as much and become more sensitive to insects and disease. “Part sun” or “semi shade” varieties need alternating sunlight and shade. “Full shade” plants thrive in the shadows made by heavy shrubbery or man-made structures like shade cloth or the roof of a porch. 

Choose the plants

Now that you’ve identified how much space is available and the climate of your garden, you can pick which plants will be most successful. Be sure to research the maturity of each vegetable, to determine how large and how often they produce. For example, some plants like tomatoes, capsicum and pumpkin continue to grow throughout the season. Others like carrots, radishes and corn produce only once. Check the mature size of each crop to be sure your planting spot can accommodate each plant once it’s fully grown. Take into account that certain veggies, like cucumbers, love to sprawl out. To maximise the area you’ve got, try planting vegetables that can grow vertically on a trellis.

Test your soil

Now that you have a rough plan for your vegetable garden, ensure your plot is plant-friendly. Most vegetables do well in moist, well-drained soil rich with compost.

  • Check your drainage: Completely soak the soil, wait a day then dig up a handful and close your fist around it. The ideal consistency is soft and crumbly, like a thick piece of cake. You can use compost or fertilisers to get it right if your soil seems too runny or too hard. If the consistency is giving you trouble, you can install a raised bed on the existing lawn to gain full control over the soil.

Put it on paper

Sketch out an outline of your garden and use graph paper to make a scale map. Draw up a simple plot with your garden’s rough measurements in all directions. Don’ be afraid to have fun with the shape; round, curved or square gardens add character to any yard.
Proper research and planning make for a successful and fruitful garden. Happy planting!

Building a Vertical Vegetable Garden

Ever noticed how tall our cities are getting? And it seems like just yesterday that our inner suburbs were close to the Central Business District and the “burbs” were the divide between urban and rural.

As we move out further and the rural fringe becomes the suburbs, our plots get smaller and communal blocks of units and townhouses become more prevalent. Our need for indoor living space is overtaking our once proud outdoor entertaining tradition.

Alongside this is a resurgence of old fashion ways, getting back to healthy lifestyles and patterns, fresh fruit and vege, ethically treated animal produce, we are cooking more and more or at the least going to restaurants that boast all things organic and macro biotic….

So how do to the 2 cultures diverge, how do we live our inner city life and stay true to the ways handed down by Gran (who made her own bread from actual ingredients without a bread maker)? How do we bring a little rural into our urban?

Vertical Gardening is a new way to restore traditional rural values in our urban society.

Building a vertical vegetable garden enables you to grow fruit and vege in small or compact spaces were a traditional patch wouldn’t fit, all you need is a few meters of spare ground and dependent on what your preference is, maybe a fence. There are several different ways to do this and I am going to show you how…

Trellis

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Using a trellis is a time honoured tradition when growing vine fruit and vege. Passion fruit and grapes, olives and tomatoes, combinations of all sorts of fruiting plants can thrive when trained to grow up a trellis. This is also a great space saving idea, simply attached the trellis to a border fence and dig out a small patch to build up the bed underneath. If you are working with a small area without boundary fencing, a garden box with a frame will also work by attaching the lattice to the box frame.

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Hanging Soil Bags

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Ideally hanging soil bags are best suited to an area where some sort of steel mesh is available or able to be fitted. The idea is to plant in the soil bag, the bag must be a tight enough weave to hold the potting mix but also to allow drainage. Materials such as hessian or woven polypropylene are ideal for this process. This is a really good idea for cultivating seedlings or hanging plants such as strawberries.

Upside down Tomato Planters

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Upside down Tomato Planters are a fabulous idea for terraces and balconies or anywhere really where ground space is prohibitive. The idea is to literally plant upside down. You can use anything really; a plastic soft drink bottle, a bucket or you can buy the ready made planters from garden supplies. It’s a matter of cutting a hole in the bottom of what you choose to use, just large enough to allow the plant to hang through. Then you attach a small aluminium chain to both your apparatus and a hook and hang your plant. The fruit of these plants tends to be succulent and bulbous because the fruit is that last port of call for the moisture in the soil.

Wooden Pallets

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Using old wooden pallets is a fantastic idea to condense a large expanse of small fruiting plants into one small area and keep them there past seedling stage. When planting you would use silt matt or hessian to hold the internal structure together and create small holes within the cavity for the plants to pop through. The pallet can be free standing or be mounted against a fence or wall. This is a good option for decks and balconies as well.

PVC Piping or PET Plastic bottles

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Using recyclable items in your garden isn’t just about compost and chook manure. So many wonderfully inventive things can be done with things like PET plastic bottles and PVC piping. Any wall will come alive with colour and movement with a vegetable or herb garden feature using these sorts of materials and it’s as simple as a suspended wire frame and some old soft drink bottles, these materials are ideal for a herb garden or intermingling ornamental fruits such as chilli’s or even some berries.

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A vegetable garden makes idyll hands busy and teaches us the importance of healthy living, it can bring the old back to new and can make house a home, wherever you live, it’s not that hard to achieve…

Don’t forget shade cloth for your new vertical vegetable garden. We manufacture and sell various grades and colours of UV stabilised shade mesh online.

9 Great Outdoor Advertising Ideas

There are so many great ideas out there to market and advertise your business and brand and Outdoor advertising mediums are a fantastic way to express your brand message. Whether it’s a large bold influential statement or a smaller more subtle missive, using outdoor platforms brings your message to the people where it can get the best exposure.

So what’s the best method to convey your individual message?

Take a walk through this list and see if there’s a right fit for your brand.

Printed Banner Mesh and Shade Cloth

Printed Shade Cloth

Printed Banner Mesh and Shade Cloth are the ideal way to spread a broad message. Utilising logos and contact details, this form of advertising is generally a short to medium term usage and is often times used in conjunction with construction or work sites. This form of advertising is very popular with developers and builders and can be seen everywhere.

Printed Banner Mesh

  • Generally size is made to order
  • Reinforced welded edges and riveted eyelets
  • Tight weave
  • Designed for re-use

Printed Shade Cloth

  • Designed for long runs, up to 50 meters
  • Ideal for larger scale construction/ building sites
  • Weathers well for medium term use

A Frame Sandwich Boards Corflute Signs

Corflute Signage

A Frame Corflute signage is ideal for shopfront advertising within shopping precincts and main streets. A compact and mobile advertising medium, these sorts of signs are perfect for short term promotional advertising but can easily be used as a long term advertising solution.

Building Wraps and Billboards

Building Wraps

There is no grander way to convey your brand message than through the use of Building Wraps and Billboards. Immense and awe inspiring, advertising of this magnitude is designed to overtake, overwhelm and excite the target audience until they are compelled to follow the brand.

Building Wraps

  • Generally larger and ideal for large placement high end brand recognition
  • Designed for high visibility

Billboards

  • Generally a standard size and placement is high over motorways and street scapes for maximum exposure
  • Ideal for medium to long term advertising

Transit Stop Advertising

Transit Stop Advertising

Transit Stop advertising is probably one of the widest spread outdoor advertising medium used. An extensive opportunity for wide spread visibility to a huge variety of audiences is available when using this type of advertising as this is seen by commuters, other road users, joggers, dog walkers, anyone and everyone really!

Moving Advertising

Moving Advertising

Moving advertising comes in a few different forms, whether it’s public transport, i.e. trains, buses, trams or planes, or taxis it has a further reach then almost another outdoor advertising channel.  A constantly moving, diverse tool, a vehicle that features advertising is effectively a mobile billboard and perfect for long term advertising.

Mounted Flags

Mounted Flags

Mounted flags are a dynamic way of advertising current events, sales and conveying your chosen messages in a more personal fashion. Although this form is normally physically placed close to the business centre, i.e. Museums, Theatres and Art Galleries use flags to promote exhibitions and shows, it is still a very effective form of broader outdoor advertising as the flags are still designed to be highly mounted and visible.

Illuminated Signs

Illuminated Signs

Illuminated Signage is an iconic brand awareness tool that delivers a specific message. Shop fronts use Illuminated signs to promote their logo and name within their close environment, these kinds of signage can create a warm and comforting feeling, especially in the evening when people are heading out to dinner or for some late night shopping. The logos become trusted for their availability.

Free Form Murals

Free Form Murals

Free Form Artwork Murals or Legal Graffiti has emerged as a valid and forward thinking from of signage recently. The art form transcends industry and age and can be a very appealing from of advertising to a diverse audience. The increasingly popular youth culture surrounding music and body art has seen a strong following for Free Form Murals and Legal Graffiti and with artists of the likes of Banksie being commissioned to create artworks all over the world this is becoming a valid and popular form of outdoor advertising.

Walking Advertising

Walking Advertising

Possibly the cheapest and easiest form of outdoor advertising is Walking Adverts, t-shirts, jackets, hats and all sorts of articles of clothing branded with company logos, artwork and products wandering around giving notification of who they are. Celebrities, sports people, socialites and personalities alike are commissioned to wear branding, i.e. sports people walk down the street everyday wearing their sponsored brands! We trust tradesman that advertise their services on their work attire because it gives us a sense of security.

Outdoor advertising can be in a huge form or a relatively small one but there are so many ways to get your brand message across. Learn more about our printed shade cloth now.