Florence Concrete Trough Planters Used for Greening Karalee Shopping Village Expansion Project

Hutchinson Builders have commissioned a total of 30 Florence Trough planters to help add foliage to hardscaped areas in Karalee Shopping Village in Ipswich, Queensland.

Along with the steel beams, the planters helped to differentiate the pedestrian area and the parking area. The combination of red, green and yellow foliage makes the hardscaping easier on the eyes. The planters also line the vicinity of the restaurants for a more pleasant al fresco dining experience.

Karalee Shopping Village is home to large establishments like Coles and Woolworths as well as various restaurants, beauty and wellness centers, liquor stores, banks, and designer stores. Ipswich is a booming location and the expansion of the shopping village will help cater to the increasing population including the redevelopment of the CBD.

The expansion project which costs $80 million has Hutchinson Builders adding 5,600 square meters of shopping space to the already bustling city. The expansion project was built on the adjacent road that was acquired back in 2015. The expansion saw the addition of tens of specialty stores and over 300 new parking slots with disabled parking and parents with prams car parks. The location is also easily accessible with public transportation.

The Florence Concrete Trough Planters range is a premium range of planters from IOTA Australia. The Florence range of planters is made from lightweight and durable concrete. It is weatherproof which makes it suitable for both commercial and residential areas.

Check out the pictures below.

florence trough planters lined up

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Gardening with Extra Large Pots

If you want to create an elaborate garden even in a hardscape area, all hope is not lost. The usual recourse is to garden using pots and planters. But working with extra-large pots and planters can be tricky because they can be huge and difficult to move around. Here are some tips on how to get the best out of your extra large pots and planters.

Choosing the Right Plants for Extra Large Pots

Large florence trough planter box with low lying greeneries

Planting in extra large pots is not the same as planting on the ground. You need to take special attention to the plants that you choose. While most plants will survive in any pot, you need to consider the location of the pot. If you are using extra large planters indoors, you’ll want a plant that doesn’t require a lot of sunlight. You also need to consider the root growth of a plant. You don’t know plants that have vigorous root systems on a fragile pot. For these kinds of plants, we can recommend durable lightweight planters.

Choosing the Right Size Planters

Choose a pot that is large enough to hold the plant that you want for your preferred plant size. Pots that are too small can hinder the growth of plants. However, a pot that is too large isn’t necessarily better. Planting is pot too large for the plant, can retain too much water which can lead to root disease. When considering the height of the pot, make sure that the height of the plant is not more than 50 percent of the height of your planter. Choose just the right size.

Grouping Plants in Extra Large Planters

Large GRC Planter with different types of plants

Because of their size, extra large pots can be used to group various plants in a single pot. This grouping effect can be an attractive addition to a landscape. You can mix and match various foliage, leaf shapes, and plant height. You can let your imagination run wild as the possibilities are endless. Just be careful you don’t crowd them too much that they compete for sunlight and nutrients in the soil.

These are just a few simple tips when working with extra large pots. If you are looking to buy extra large pots, you can check out our ranges here.

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How to Use Pots and Planters for Interior Design

Pots and planters are a great way to spruce up a home or office. As an interior designer, you have the power to instantly transform a dull and ordinary space into something bright and beautiful. Using pots and planters with colorful indoor plants is a great way to beautify any space.

How should you use pots and planters for decorating an indoor space?

The Importance of Pots and Planters

Pots and planters can be used indoors and outdoors. They can transform the ambiance of a room by adding a pop of colour or shape. It’s a great way to bring nature indoors. Not to mention, plants have been known to have a calming effect. It also has the added benefit of producing oxygen. 

Convince your clients to invest in good-quality pots and planters. As the designer, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  •  Know the size of the pot or planter you need for the available space
  • Consider what type of plant will work best with the shape of your pots
  • Make use of native plants that require very little sunlight
  • Choose the right planter material and color

What to Look for When Buying Pots and Planters?

Consider the size and shape of the planters. You want to make sure that the pot can hold enough soil to sustain the plant. If you are looking for something lightweight yet durable, we recommend looking at fiberglass planters. Fiberglass planters are recommended for contemporary designs.Cube PlantersTrough PlantersRound Planters

If you’re looking for a hanging pot, the width and depth of the container are factors to consider regarding how much planting space is available. Make sure that your anchor is sturdy enough to prevent any untoward accidents.

Another point of consideration is the drain holes. You don’t want drain holes when using pots and planters indoors. If you decide to keep drain holes, your planters should have a drainage plate so you don’t make a watery mess each time you water the plants.

What Kind of Pots Should You Use?

Depending on the design theme, there are several kinds of pots you can recommend to your clients. 

Terracotta pots are great for rustic designs. The color on terracotta pots only gets better as they age. One downside is that terracotta is fragile. It doesn’t take much force for a terracotta pot to break into pieces.

Ceramic pots are great if you’re looking for something more subtle. They are suitable for classic design but are also very fragile.

Fiberglass planters are lightweight and durable. They are suitable for modern designs.

Concrete planters are robust and can match many design themes depending on their color. Most concrete pots would be heavy so they are difficult to move around.

What Plants to Use?

For indoor designs, it’s important to choose plants that require little sunlight. Succulents are a great choice for indoor planting. Succulents are easy to take care of. Other good choices for indoor plants are anthurium, fiddle leaf fig, peace lily, and calathea. You can also consult with your local nursery regarding the plants native to your region that will do well indoors.

Overall, pots and planters are just common containers that aren’t difficult to find. With proper planning and designing, pots and planters for interior design are not complicated. Stay true to the core elements of interior design and you can’t go wrong with it.

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Landscaping Trends to Consider for Your Next Landscape Design Project in 2022

It looks like the pandemic is still here to stay. Going back to our normal lives will still have to wait. This gives us an opportunity to apply new landscaping trends that are more focused on improving your living space.

Growing Your Own Food

Since the pandemic started, being able to grow your own food to improve food security has become very important. Many of the world’s supply chains came to a halt when lockdowns went into effect. People realized how dependent they are on these supply chains which also made prominent the importance of being able to grow your own food. And with nothing else to do during lockdowns, many people took to planting crops. Interest in growing food has only blossomed so more and more landscape designers are being asked about incorporating growing crops in landscape design. 

Straberries for Landscaping Trends

Growing your own food can look good and also be fulfilling. We recommend planting herbs and leafy vegetables. 

Indoor and Outdoor Blending

The idea is to bring the outdoors indoors and the indoors outdoors. This has been going on for a few years already. This trend is expected to continue for the next few years. It is also a perfect trend for urban residential areas. 

Creating a strong connection with nature in your home isn’t that difficult. Create an outdoor dining space or bring inside some sprawling vines and large palm trees, The possibilities are endless.

Designing to Attract Local Wildlife

To create a more “natural” look, wildlife should always be on your list. Birds, bees, and other pollinators should be your landscape’s audience. You can add birdbaths and bird feeders to attract birds and plant many flowers to attract bees and butterflies. Water features are also great for relaxing. The sound of rustling water soothes the soul.

Landscaping Trends Wildlife

Kid and Pet-Friendly Spaces

A landscape should always be a welcoming and safe place. It should be a place where family and friends can have a good time. Create designs that can accommodate kids and pets without the need to watch their every move. Instead of hard paving, opt for soft turf. You can even dedicate an area to turn into a playground where the kids can have fun.

For pets, you can create a simple secluded space where they can run and lie down. Add some shade so they can have some protection during the summer season.

All these landscaping trends have one thing in common – it promotes creating a strong connection with nature. Have you ever done any designs on these trends?

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Should I Hire a Professional for My Landscape Design Project?

Creating a beautiful landscape for your home or business is a lot of work. Do you know where to start? What permits do you need to start construction? Elements can you add to your landscape? what colours would pop? Should I use these plants? These are just some of the questions you might have.

Working on this by yourself without consulting a professional can lead to all sorts of problems. This is why we strongly recommend getting a professional involved. They have the expertise and experience to make sure you don’t encounter problems.

We list some of the reasons why hiring a professional is important.

Garden designed by Landscape Architects

They Will Increase the Value of Your Property

Whether a home or business project, landscape architects can add value to your property. They will turn your property into a thing of beauty that will increase its value. Even if you’re not planning on reselling your property, your new landscape would definitely wow everyone.

They Can Help Create Landscape Systems

You can use the landscape architect’s expertise to create drip-irrigation systems, xeriscapes, energy-saving elements, water-conservation elements, a rainwater capture system, and other useful and attractive features you might want.

Regulations and Legalities

Landscape architects and landscape designers know the ins and outs of the industry. This is their life. Before even getting started on a project, design plans will need to be created and presented to authorities to get the necessary permits. A professional will handle all these for you. In the worst case, if you decide to do this yourself without the proper knowledge of the legalities, you could see penalties and a lawsuit coming your way.

After-Care Service and Maintenance Advice

Professionals provide after-care services. If something is not working as intended, the plants died or something broke soon after project delivery, the professional will take care of this for you. Professionals will also give advice on how to maintain your landscape.

Let’s be realistic. Hiring professionals would give you peace of mind and assurance that your project will be on the right track. It wouldn’t be cheap but it would be worth it. Even though you need to pay for the service, professional landscape designers and architects will bring the best value for your money.

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Edible Plants for your Hanging Garden

A hanging garden is a popular choice for areas that don’t have a lot of space for planting. With proper planning, this type of garden can work on a small patio or along pathways even in an urban setting.

Hanging gardens are great for adding color and texture to your outdoor living area. At the same time, hanging gardens can also be used to improve your privacy. But have you ever thought of planting vegetables, herbs, and other edible plants in your hanging garden? Choosing to plant edible plants ain’t a bad idea. You can save a few bucks by growing some of the vegetables you usually buy.

What kind of edible plants can you plant in your hanging garden?

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are one of the more popular hanging gardens. They are easy to grow and don’t need much maintenance. Just pick a few tomatoes whenever you have a hankering for a salad or add them to sauces.


Hanging Garden Strawberries

Strawberries are also a popular choice for hanging planters. They grow well on containers so you can plant them on your patio. Strawberries have a shallow root system so they require regular watering.


Hanging Garden Lettuce

Lettuce is great for hanging gardens. They thrive on containers since they do not require a lot of space. Make sure to water them often and place them in cooler areas.


Hanging Gardens Lettuce

This leafy vegetable is easy to grow in hanging containers. It has a deep green color that will liven up your patio. Spinach is very nutritious so planting them is a great option.

Growing a hanging garden is not much different compared to any other type of garden. A hanging garden can improve the ambiance of your living and can even be used to grow food. And just like any other garden, plants will demand some of your attention.

Have you tried growing herbs and vegetables in a hanging garden before?

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Pruning Mistakes to Avoid

Pruning is one of the most important plant maintenance tasks that should be done on a regular basis. Pruning is especially important for container gardening. It helps you to control the growth of your plants and it helps to promote new growth and more flowers. Maintenance-free plants are rarely a thing. Sure, some plans are low-maintenance but they do still require some maintenance.

Pruning mistakes to avoid

You only really need to prune occasionally but there are still right and wrong ways of doing it. Here are some of the biggest pruning mistakes you should avoid.

Not Pruning

Major mistake! Sure plants can grow in the wild without ever needing pruning but the plants you have at home or in your yard will need pruning every now and then otherwise they may end up encroaching on you and end up looking undesirable. Prune your plants regularly to maintain their shape.

Too Much Shearing

Shearing should be done to maintain the shape of a plant. This is especially important for hedges. Shearing helps to maintain a groomed appearance. Occasional thinning is the best to avoid serious damage to a plant. Use handheld pruners for easier control. You can trim up to 10% of the branches to allow sunlight to penetrate the plant.

Cutting Flowers

Wondering why your plants don’t bloom? You haven’t pruned the buds off, right? That is a big pruning mistake. Know what season your plants bloom and don’t prune it during the blooming season or they may end up having only a few flowers or they may not bloom at all. 

Not Cleaning Your Tools

Pruning with a dull blade, stiff tools, or even rusty equipment can only give you problems. It can cause ugly, ragged, unbalanced cuts that can also cause injury to you. Make sure to maintain your tools. Keep your tools sharp and clean. Oil them to maintain good working conditions.

Poor Technique

For others, they look at pruning as simply cutting off branches and leaves of trees and shrubs. There is a proper technique for pruning so you can get the desired effect. Improper cutting might produce an unbalanced look and oversized scars. Try your best to avoid heavy cutbacks. But when necessary these cuts should be made where the cut can be carefully hidden. Cutting an angle sloping away from the bud is recommended. 

Have you made any pruning mistakes in the past? Tell us about it in the comments.

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How to Incorporate Xeriscaping into Your Next Landscape Design

Are you familiar with the term xeriscaping? Is this something that you’ve done in one of your previous projects? If not, read on ahead.

What is xeriscaping?


Xeriscaping may sound complicated but it actually isn’t. It just required a lot of planning. The term comes from the Greek word “Xeros” which means dry. It is known as a method of designing a landscape that reduces or eliminates the need for irrigation. It is a means of designing that works well in areas that encounter harsh droughts. And Australia is no stranger to harsh droughts.

With xeriscaping, you usually see designs that make use of a lot of rocks instead of grass. It doesn’t necessarily mean your design should be filled with cacti. You can use drought-hardy plants and succulents.

What are the benefits of xeriscaping?

Save Money and Conserve Water

Xeriscapes are designed to save water. Even if you are not in an area that experiences droughts, xeriscaping can help bring your water bills down and save money. On top of that, you help the environment through water conservation.

Low Maintenance

Xeriscapes require little to no maintenance. Since you make sure to use drought-resistant and hardy plants, you rarely need to water. And since native plants are prioritized in a xeriscape, they can thrive with little to no human intervention. These native plants will also help to attract native species of birds and other pollinators.

Important Elements for Xeriscaping

In xeriscaping, water conservation is the most important element. Soil absorption and drainage patterns are also essential for this garden.


Irrigation is minimal, but how minimal? It really depends. If you are going for a desert landscape, rain can normally handle the irrigation system. A drip irrigation system is also a great option. It will deliver small amounts of water directly into the soil.

Choice of Plants

You’ll want to choose native and drought-resistant plants that will thrive in the kind of soil where you are designing. Mulching will be crucial to help maintain soil moisture.

Focal Points

Obviously, water features are a no-go in a xeriscape. You can opt for sculptures, extra-large pots, and planters, boulders, or even a small hardy tree for a focal point.


Last but not least is planning. Xeriscaping requires a lot of planning. It is the most important element of the xeriscape. Plan your design. Know your soil composition and plant positioning. It is never an overnight process. It will take time and solid commitment.

Can You Recommend Xeriscaping to Your Clients?

Definitely. If you practice in an area that experiences a lot of droughts, then you can emphasize the benefits of xeriscaping. It will be important to explain the pros and cons of going with this kind of landscape design.

The Pros:

  • Greatly reduces your environmental footprint and impact
  • Reduces the amount of time needed for landscaping work
  • Significant decrease in water consumption
  • Reduced maintenance costs in the long term


  • The initial set-up might be more costly
  • Planning for a xeriscape will be more difficult. Examining the soil and choosing plants will be very crucial.
  • Poor planning can cause xeriscape to fail and result in poor design causing more expenditures and problems.
  • Aesthetically, it might not be eye-catching for everyone.

Have you ever tried designing a xeriscape? Let us know your experience in the comments.

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How to Incorporate Xeriscaping into Your Next Landscape Design

Garden Pots and Planter Boxes Landscape Design Ideas Guide


Container gardening has given a new meaning to the entire concept of gardening. It’s the perfect solution to manage your landscaping needs. Garden pots and planters offer an enormous amount of visual interest in both residential and business spaces. Landscape design ideas are usually hard to come by when you do container gardening.

For Monty Don of the BBC television series Gardeners’ World:

Anything that can be grown in soil can be raised in a container, and as long as it has some drainage and is wider at the top than at the bottom, any vessel that will hold compost and take regular watering can be pressed into service.

Gardening in containers is a convenient way to add splashes of color and natural beauty to your environment. To get you started, here are popular landscape design ideas just for you!Bonus Content: 6 Easy and Creative Planting Ideas to Try with PlantersShare on Social to Download PDF with Bonus Contentliketweet

Tip #1 Fill Empty Spaces with Planters

In public buildings, there are often small areas that constantly fill up with trash, even though a trash receptacle is steps away. Why is this so? Because these areas don’t have any purpose. These little spaces are everywhere.

However, designing these spaces with gardening containers tells the public that the space is valuable and contributes to the building’s friendly demeanor.


Whether it’s in a small reception area, or a hospital waiting room, a simple and tidy plant grouping welcomes the visitor and fills the space with a sunny disposition. With a landscape architect’s sensitive eye for detail, a variety of design concepts with planting pots can be implemented.

Hedvig Murray, UK permaculture designer and educator, shares that a great way to fill empty spaces is to map it out first.

Take photos at different times of day to discover how the sun varies across your space. Observing and interacting and can lead to a great outcome.


It would even be a nice surprise to find plants in a public rest room. It might help to alleviate the smell of disinfectant or possibly diminish the overbearing aroma of an air freshener.Bonus Content: 6 Easy and Creative Planting Ideas to Try with PlantersShare on Social to Download PDF with Bonus Contentliketweet

Tip #2 Use Planters for the Modern Office

Many companies have chosen to take on a near futuristic look in their office décor. Pots and planters need to be able to fit right in. When using planters to create the modern office, these characteristics should help you choose for that environment. 


Geometric Shapes

This rule goes for exterior planters as well as indoor planters. Choosing planters that have unique but simple shapes rooted in geometry can help to advance the image of the modern office.

The idea is to convey a focused, streamlined, and sleek look. By getting a little creative, you can create an interesting and unique design through shape alone. Matt Biggs of Gardeners World UK says “To look right, a pot should be about 1/3 of the height of the tallest plants.” 

Colour Scheme


Most offices have some sort of colour scheme throughout. Usually, it’s mainly white or black with splashes of vibrant colour. It’s up to you whether you want the planter to blend in with the colour scheme, accent it, or make it pop out.

When utilising planters as the bright colour, keep the shape very simple and geometric, without any frills, and keep the plants inside of them plain. Ferns are a good option for bright coloured planters.

Material and Texture

The material of the planter depends entirely upon the office environment to which it belongs. Keep the material either natural in tone, metallic, or sleek.

Many modern offices have wood as a decorative accent. Being able to use those natural properties to the overall design, is a great way to ensure that the planters fit their environment aesthetically.

The modern office is not built for overly embellished appearances, so keeping the material and texture sleek and simple is the best way to go.

When choosing your pot, as a rule it’s better to stick to just one or two different materials. Gardeners’ World UK recommends to take your cue from the style of the surrounding.

Red brick buildings are enhanced by terracotta containers, while a modern plot is the best backdrop for galvanised metal pots.

Bonus Content: 6 Easy and Creative Planting Ideas to Try with PlantersShare on Social to Download PDF with Bonus Contentliketweet

Tip #3 Arrange Potted Plants

Just because the potted plant is small does not mean that the pot itself can’t be artistic. The arrangement of these pots can be the main attraction. You just have to do the right style of arrangement to create the desired effect.

arrange-potted-plants landscape design ideas

“An eclectic group of small containers to create a quirky, ever-changing corner. Repetition can be effective, and garden designers will often use three or more identical containers planted with the same plants for maximum impact,” according to Gardeners’ World. 

Create and Demarcate Levels

Potted plants can add depth to any room or outdoor area if you create and demarcate levels. Use a few, small potted plants to line the porch railing, adorn the top of your refrigerator, or even use in the place of candles on a wall sconce.

It should not look as though a row of jars or pots were set up; instead, it should be artistic, preferably with plants that flow over the edge and almost hide most of the pot itself.

Utilise Old instruments

 Many old instruments can be repurposed as planters. If you have an antique fiddle or an old trumpet, might as well put them to new use. It can add class and charm as well as a unique appearance to the room or outdoor area.


Hang the fiddle on the wall, fill the center, or hollow, part with soil, and insert a small potted plant, guiding the vines and leaves through the strings for artistic effect.

Make Them Your Centerpiece 

Granite Tall Taper 12

Using potted plants as centerpieces is a great way to add some design and style to the outside or inside of a home.

The dining area should not be overly burdened with large pots and plants that take over the entire table. However, a few, small, well-appointed plants can provide an attractive location for visitors to sit, eat, and chat.

Courtney Olander, a professional Horticulturalist, adds “A pot can be used as a point of interest at the end of a path, at the center of a courtyard or to help spruce up a secret seating nook.”

Don’t Line them Up

When arranging with potted plants, one of the biggest mistakes people make is to line them all up. It’s a recipe for a cluttered appearance and a rather boring aesthetic. Instead, try clustering a few plants here and there in a triangular form.


You can place either two slightly taller ones at the back, or a small one in front, or vice versa. An arrangement that consists of various sizes of pots, types of plants, and location, in other words not in a straight line, will provide the best results.

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Fast Growing Plants to Improve Your Lawn’s Privacy

Privacy in your living space is important. And your lawn is an extension of your home and therefore is an extension of your living space. If you live in a populated area, privacy on your lawn might be a problem.

Your lawn and garden are your home away from home. IF you’ve spent some time designing your garden, it can become a location to get away from the daily hustle and bustle and relax. And if you want to relax, privacy is

One way of adding privacy is to get a tall fence but that will cost you a fair amount of money. Or you can add some tall plants that can make for good hedges. You’ll want plants that grow fast.

Here are some plants that can help improve your lawn’s privacy quickly.

Red Leaf Photinia

Red Leaf Photinia for Privacy

Photinia robusta, also known as Red Leaf Photinia, is a fast-growing, small tree with glossy red foliage that turns green as it matures. It can grow up to five meters tall. It also has a dense growth habit that makes it a good selection for screening. This plant can provide the privacy you are looking for.

Clumping bamboo

With its oriental look, bamboo is a perfect fit for certain garden styles. They are fast-growing and widely used for screening purposes. Some people are not aware that there are two types of bamboo plants and clumping bamboo is better for lawns and gardens.

Running bamboo is difficult to maintain. This is the type of bamboo that is invasive. It will spread everywhere if left unchecked.

Clumping bamboo does not spread far from the main plant but still provides a good amount of coverage. Go for the clumping bamboo. It is a moderate grower.

A fully grown clumping bamboo can reach up to four meters in one to two years.

Climbing roses

People from all walks of life love roses. You can’t find anyone who hates roses.

Climbing Roses for Privacy

Climbing roses are good choices for adding privacy to your lawn. It can also help add colour to your garden. Climbing roses also have a longer flowering season compared to most types of roses. To use climbing roses as fencing material, however, you will need to provide them support for climbing on.

Lilly Pilly

Lilly Phillies are popular choices for creating hedges that can produce edible fruit. They are pretty easy to shape and prune making it an easy-to-maintain manageable hedge plant. Lilly pilly berries are also quite tasty.


One of the most common viburnums is the laurustinus. It is a hardy, evergreen plant that makes for a great hedge and will require some pruning during spring. It also has some clusters of pink buds that bloom pretty white flowers.

These are just some of the plants that you can use to add privacy to your lawn. If you want to give these plants more height. You can choose to plant them in long trough planters.

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