Play Matters – The Impact of Landscapes on Play

The garden at Coombe in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, once the home of Dame Nellie Melba, is 7+ acres of incredible gardens, including a hedge with a tunnel to a secret garden, where reportedly Dame Nellie’s grandchild loved to play. Wouldn’t that be an incredible childhood memory? Studies over generations have shown the benefits that play of all forms brings to children. We know that outdoor play in particular supports physical activity, a love of nature, language development, creativity, problem solving skills and negotiation. It supports imagination, self-expression and impulse-control. You just have to quietly observe a group of kindergarten children […]

And we are out…..

We are now on holidays…. Office Closed Between Friday 23rd of December 2022 and reopen on the Tuesday 10th of January 2023 We have loved working with our clients this year. Developing some great relationships with new clients and strengthening those with our continuing clients. This has allowed us to complete some amazing projects this year. Some of the types of projects we have worked on this year are So if you are ever wondering if your project is something we would work on. Then it probably is. We wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy new year […]

The Year That was 2022

It’s been a year- this has been a challenging year hear at Orterra. We have had some amazing highs and some lows. We have been a bit quiet on the blog front lately. I know we generally like to give your great content consistently however, we have been very busy creating some amazing designs over the last few months for our clients and as we don’t like to provide you with terrible content hence we have let this slide a bit. But don’t worry we have been planning and there are some great things in the pipeline for next year. […]

Weeds and How To Tell If You Have One?

For many gardeners and non-gardeners, the notion of weeds is that they are this very bad thing that grows too fast and makes the place look ugly. However, the issue of weeds is more complicated. They cause a lot of damage to our natural environment. They cost billions of dollars a year and have a large impact on our biodiversity. What is a weed? The definition of a weed is “a plant that grows very quickly where it is not wanted and covers or kills more desirable plants” Basically, it is a plant growing where you don’t want it to […]

What do the Terms Cut and Fill Mean?

When talking to our clients we often use the terms cut and fill. These often come up when discussing how you might change the ground to create different types of spaces in a garden. Often they are terms that clients are unfamiliar with. So wanted to go into more detail today about what this meant. If you have a development or build on a slope, it is extremally helpful if you understand these two terms. And, how it affects your site. Today, we are going to break it down for you. So you can have a better understanding of what […]

What is Better Organic or Inorganic Mulch?

We often have discussions with clients about mulch. What options there are, costs, lifecycle. But today we thought we would just talk about what are the pros and cons of organic vs inorganic mulch to help you make a more informed decision when it comes time for you to choose. What is Mulch? Mulch is  “ a protective covering (as of sawdust, compost, or paper) spread or left on the ground to reduce evaporation, maintain even soil temperature, prevent erosion, control weeds, enrich the soil, or keep fruit (such as strawberries) clean” They supress weeds, prevent soil compaction and help […]

To Answer your Question here is our Design Philosophy

We often get asked by our clients what is your design philosophy? So, today I wanted to dive a bit deeper into this question of design philosophy and what it means to us here at Orterra. Places People Love That is our philosophy. It is that simple. But what I will do is break it down for you a little more to get to the core of this statement.  A philosophy is “a particular system of beliefs, values, and principles.”   We here at Orterra have very clear values here that we work from that underpin our design philosophy. Equality Inclusion Empathy Diversity Biodiversity Transparency We use […]

Orterra’s Reconciliation Journey

Earlier this year we had our ‘Reflect’ Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) had been endorsed. For those who do not know what a RAP is, it is a formal statement, committing to contribute to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As Naidoc week is next week 3-10th July we thought it was a good time to reflect on our journey in the understanding of First Nations and Torres Strait Islander People. Naidoc week is an opportunity for all Australians to learn about First Nations culture and histories in the celebrations of the oldest continuous living cultures on earth. So […]

How To Screen Out Your Neighbours With Plants?

With property land sizes shrinking and the size of the average Australian house growing, privacy is becoming compromised in the urban suburbs. There are many ways to screen your neighbours for more privacy in your yard. However, in this blog, we are going to focus on some of the types of plants that make great screens and provide you with a bit more privacy making your yard feel more secluded. In this blog post we are going to look at some groups of plants to consider. However, with all our advice on plants make sure you choose the right plant […]

What is Deep Planting and Why do we need it?

Deep planting is a common term used by councils in their planning schemes. They are areas that are required to be allocated in the design of the development. Their purpose is the planting areas of trees and shrubs amongst the buildings. In particular, they are meant to be positioned and sized so that you can plant large shade trees. Why do we need this? Deep planting areas specifically plan for large trees in an urban environment. The areas are to be designed to provide the tress with the space to grow into their mature form. Trees in urban areas are […]