City of Casey Landscape Plan for Units
These are a couple of small unit sites in Cranbourne, located in the City of Casey municipality. One dual occupancy and one three dwelling development. The biggest challenge for this type of development in an outer Melbourne suburb is always budget. Horticulture becomes even more important here, when hardscape solutions to address design challenges become unavailable due to cost constraints. For sloped sites, vegetated embankments rather than retaining walls are a great option if there is enough space. Sometimes its even worth designing to allow space for an embankment, since retaining walls can be so expensive. Plant selection becomes very important. When there is no budget to change the conditions of the site, the vegetation needs to be able to thrive in the existing conditions.
The cheapest surface covering you can use that will satisfy planning requirements is lawn. Followed by mulched and planted garden beds, then gravel or pebble surfaces, then concrete, then decking or paving. Keeping the landscaping costs as low as possible can be more complicated than that though. For example, sometimes including a lawn works out to be more expensive than just having a large mulched and planted garden bed. It the area to be landscaped is small and some garden bed is required to protect the wall of a building or to screen a paling fence, sometimes the cost of the timber edging to put between the required gardens bed and the lawn area can exceed what it would have cost to mulch and plant out the whole area, so including lawn becomes a less economical option. Also, installing generous, wider garden beds can work out to be less expensive than installing narrow ones. This is because we usually need to use narrow growing plants in narrow garden beds. For example, if a garden bed is 400mm wide and 6m long, you would use 15 plants that grow to 400mm wide. However if you have a garden bed is 1.5m wide and 6m long, you would only need four plants that grow 1.5m wide to fill it.