Monash Community Housing Landscape Plan
These landscape plans were for four Monash housing community sites within a few blocks of each other in Ashwood and Chadstone, for DHHS in 2011. We wanted to design landscaping that would provide attractive, welcoming spaces for the future occupants, that required minimal maintenance and that could be installed within our client’s budget.
With these goals, plant selection becomes even more important than usual. Vegetation is a cheap way to screen ugly elements and fill difficult spaces. To plant out large sites as inexpensively as possible we need to use young plants. Plants are not expensive in comparison to the hard elements of building and landscaping but every time you go up a pot size you basically double the price of the plant, so over a few large sites the cost of plants can add up quickly. In choosing to install young plants we needed to ensure that they were well suited to the site conditions so that they will not require lots of maintenance or excessive resources to reach their potential mature size and fulfill their intended role.
In this case plants were also used to provide a sense of address to the front façade which promotes feelings of pride in the home and results in the occupants being more likely to take care of their premises. The creation of leafy green views also extended to the private open spaces and views through the windows. These green views are restorative just through a window but also attract the occupants to spend more time outside.
Using young and inexpensive plants that are carefully selected, means that even on a very low budget everyone can still have a really beautiful place to live. It is becoming more well known just how beneficial a view of vegetation can be to a person’s health and well-being. When an inexpensive plant can be found that suits just about any situation, every occupant can benefit from this, without adding any additional cost to the developer’s budget.