January 19, 2024

Space to grow

Local landscape and garden design professionals share expert tips on bringing your dream garden to life.

English garden with blooming alliums, of Ha Ha Landscape Design

Dale Smith, Prestigious Gardens

Passionate horticulturist Dale Smith is founder of garden care company Prestigious Gardens and landscape design business Design by Dale, bringing complex, layered gardens to life and keeping them looking their best.

What motivates you in your work each day?
My passion for the craft of all things gardening and horticulture, and in turn the rewards it brings. Gardening gives me the opportunity to be a creator and artist, designing and shaping landscapes that are both aesthetically pleasing but also functional.

What are your tips for someone designing a new garden, or freshening up their current one, in 2023?
If you are looking for a designer, be sure to research and find the right designer and remember that designing a garden is a creative process, so allow yourself room for experimentation and adaptation. For a quick and affordable freshen up: some new plantings and fresh mulch can do wonders.

What general trends are you seeing in your industry?
Indoor plants, internal courtyards and spaces that extend from the home – bringing the outside in.

How are you striving for a greener future?
We care deeply about our environmental footprint. All tools used in our gardening side of the business are battery powered, while all other work is powered by hand. We have a very careful approach to integrated pest, disease and weed management.

When designing a garden, I try for as much greenspace as possible, educating the client on the benefits this will not only bring to their own home and space, but our environment as a whole. While a change like this can seem small, it’s a cumulative effect that will have an impact on our future.

What are your favourite projects to work on?
Any project where a client has full trust in my work and processes because it allows me to create freely utilising my knowledge, experience, passion and expertise.

Best gardening tip?
One of my best gardening tips is to regularly add organic matter to your soil. Adding compost, aged manure, or mulch to your garden beds helps improve soil, fertility, and moisture retention. It also promotes microbial activity which provides essential nutrients for healthy plant growth. Watch your garden come to life!



Yosi Menashé
Jason Dunn

Jason Dunn, designer and director of Ha Ha Landscape Design

Garden designers Jason Dunn and Yosi Menashé operate Ha Ha Landscape Design, creating outdoor spaces to suit their clients’ lifestyles while keeping in mind the architecture of the home and its surrounds.

What motivates you in your work each day?
The biggest motivation for us is the chance to be creative and the challenges that brings along the way. A garden consists of many variables that, for the most, are governed by nature. To design a garden also requires an understanding of these variables. Each project is an opportunity to be creative, learn and meet interesting people.

What are your tips for someone designing a new garden, or freshening up their current one, in 2023?
Whether it’s you or a professional designing the garden, the most important thing is to ask yourself: “what do I want from my garden?” Is it a place for play, for quiet contemplation or time with the family pet? By asking yourself and your family this simple question at the start, you’ll be on track to having a garden best suited to you and your lifestyle to be enjoyed for years to come.

What general trends are you seeing in your industry?While trends have their place, they are not something we keep a close eye on. Our gardens are designed with the client’s specific requirements in mind, and we choose materials and plants accordingly. While the outdoor entertaining area is still a popular design element, the outdoor kitchen is not so much. We think clients are realising that while the idea is great, in practice, having a second kitchen to service when time poor is not. Low maintenance gardens and being able to grow your own fruit and vegetables are still priorities.

How are you striving for a greener future?
Fortunately, a big part of what we do involves planting which by its nature, has a positive outcome on the environment. As part of each project, other practices enable us to do our bit for the environment. These include making sure plastic plant pots are recycled. As part of a sustainable mindset, we also try to reuse and repurpose any existing materials from the property in a new project and we specify the use of modern irrigation technology to reduce water use.

What are your favourite projects to work on?
Any garden project is enjoyable for us, but working with a client who is open to new ideas and has trust in us and the design process makes for a great experience for everyone involved.

Best gardening tip?
Keep in mind colour, texture and contrast when choosing plants. For example, don’t use only broad-leaved plants or plants of all the same colour. Create combinations of broad leaves with finer, narrower leaves and darker foliage plants with contrasting lighter foliage. It will make for a more pleasing and interesting aesthetic throughout your garden.


This article first appeared in the 2023 issue of SALIFE Premium Property magazine.

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