Australia's dry spells and restricted water resources are challenging landscape designers to create accommodations for prevailing conditions. Deploying drought-resistant outdoor planters, such as stone pots, and integrating soil retention tactics within a strategy that satisfies aesthetic requirements will provide a sustainable design.
Why Use Stone Pots
Taking a cue from Harry Howard who celebrated Australia's bush country in Sydney's urban settings, integrating hints of Australia's geological wonders in gardens around the country will add a unique aesthetic, as well as creating a conservation landscape with outdoor planters that won't tap the water supply.
Examples of Rock Design
Rock gardens are intriguing and offer opportunities for sculpting the landscape, with the option of using the rocks themselves as sculptures. The Japanese are master rock garden designers, setting admirable examples to emulate. One design to note is Ryoanji's famous rock garden in Kyoto. The mystery lies in the claim that no one can see all fifteen rocks from any point—unless they are "enlightened."
Japanese rock garden design is simplistic and a pure of spirit, meant to transform the observer - a good guide to transparent design. It would be a nice surprise to walk into a building and see a rock garden with beautiful stone pots. Especially in an atrium space like Federation Square, which doesn't seem to have a garden at all. Imagine a simple rock garden against all that complexity... Fascinating!
Using Artifacts In Landscape Design
Utilizing artifacts, offered by the continent, is a solution that could be gaining acceptance in the landscape design community:
The more unique, the better.
This sandstone artifact, rescaled to become a focus, is one of many that will have a new meaning for Australians. According to those who gather them, these artifacts are easily found along roadsides. This one was found in New South Wales (carefully brushed up and put on display) as evidence of a 40,000-year old civilization in that part of the country. Petroglyphs can become an interesting focus when applied in new ways - for instance, as a design stamped into concrete tiles and outdoor planters. There are virtually dozens of them to inspire a repetitive pattern.
Applying Stone Pot Furnishings
Furnishings enhance the design, particularly if they are geological. Stone pots (slate, granite and even light limestone cement) are sturdy pieces and can be used as alternative-function elements in the landscape. When used as exhibits, they become ever more valuable as an objet d'Art. Here, two lightweight cement cube ottomans are used as columns to display plants.
The Importance of Geological Design
Layering berms with colored sand, to illustrate sedimentary arrangements in various parts of the country, is a living lesson in Australia's geophysical composition. As part of a design, it becomes a new aesthetic to incorporate a reality-based element to stimulate curiosity and prompt questions. Property owners would enjoy having a unique installation of geological indoor and outdoor planters and artifacts to answer clients' or customers' questions.
Taking advantage of the geological world in landscape design offers unique opportunities. Australia is rich with geophysical artifacts as well. Being part of the earth makes these artifacts candidates for landscape designers to bring into public view.