Choose the right fence for safe summer swimming

The weather’s warming up and if you’re a pool owner that means it’s time to roll back the cover and get ready for another season of swimming. We love our backyard pools in Australia. It’s where we socialise, we exercise and we play. But there’s a serious side to pool ownership and that’s making sure everyone who uses your pool is safe.

Royal Life Saving Society – Australia recently released its 2017 National Drowning Report which showed that, tragically, swimming pools accounted for 45 per cent of all drowning deaths in young children in 2016/17.

“For pool owners it’s not just about being compliant, it’s about the safety of your family,” says Craig Turner, Landscape Designer and Co-Director of The Garden Planners.

“Regardless of whether you have an existing pool or you’re building a new one, you need to ensure you comply with the safety guidelines in your state or territory.”

The design, construction and installation of swimming pools, spas and their safety barriers are subject to strict building requirements. Pool owners also have ongoing legal obligations to maintain their safety barriers at all times.

“Designing the pool fence can be sometimes be overlooked but it really is the most important safety device for pool owners,” says Craig.

There are two basic options for pool fencing

Perimeter fence

A fence around the yard itself can serve as a pool safety fence, but only if it conforms to the height and gate requirements set by the safety code.

Interior fence

A fence that encloses the pool area leaving the rest of the yard open to general use.

Finding the right style of fence for your pool

Choosing the right pool fencing can be hard. Do you base your decision on cost or appearance? Ultimately it’s a personal decision. As long as your fence meets the relevant Australian Standard, it should reflect your personal style and blend well with your landscaping and home design.

At The Garden Planners we only recommend using Australian made products that conform to Australian Standards 1926.1-2012. We also recommend you contact a professional installer and ask for a Form 15 to be provided prior to installation.

Option 1: Aluminium
The main reason most people choose aluminium pool fencing is because it’s cost-effective. It’s not the cheapest of all pool fence solutions; but compared to glass it’s definitely going to be kinder on your pocket.

Aluminium fences are typically made with tubular upright bars joined by upper and lower rails.

Option 2: Glass
Glass pool fencing gives the most premium feel. With most installations the fence can hardly be seen, so you can enjoy looking at your beautiful pool not a fence.

Glass pool fence panels are made from safety glass of various thicknesses. Panels can be frameless, semi-frameless or channel set and are held in by posts and spigots which are drilled or bolted into the concrete, brick or paving.

Making sure your pool fence is safe

Pool fences need to be maintained. You’ll need to check for loose bars or panels, rust and other signs of wear and tear. You’ll also need to test latches regularly to make sure they’re working correctly. Keeping items like chairs and pot plants away from fences so children can’t use them to climb over the fence is also essential.

Royal Lifesaving Society’s home pool safety checklist is a great resource for pool owners to conduct a self-assessment.

There’s no better place to be than by a backyard pool on a scorching day. Make sure yours is safe and let the long summer days roll!

Taking Out Top Spot

At The Garden Planners, we pride ourselves on our dedication to communicating with our clients and strive to deliver top service when it comes to our community in Echuca-Moama.

This has always been a high priority and we are happy and humbled to announce that after three years of hard work and dedication, The Garden Planners are now known as an "award winning business".

The Garden Planners were recently recognised as Home-Based Business of the Year in the GMCU Allianz Campaspe Murray Business Awards.

The award process consisted of an interview and extensive questionnaire which was a lengthy process and we were honestly astounded with the outcome.

At The Garden Planners we would like to share this award with our incredible clientele who have supported the business from the beginning. We are happy to have seen such incredible growth in just a short amount of time. This award really reflects that growth and it’s exciting to be able to share it with you all.

We are proud of our magnificent team at The Garden Planners who have made it their duty to take customer service to the next level in a professional and friendly manner. We hold these qualities very closely in our small team and hope to continue with this business growth and look forward to the future.

When we started our Echuca-Moama based business just three years ago, we never imagined being considered as an "award winning business". It was a silent nomination where anyone could vote, and we put it down to our connection with the community and the importance they place on it.

The Garden Planners team is going to continue striving to do bigger and better things and this award has only motivated us more to remain holding that elite level of customer service that connects us with you, our community.

We would also like to congratulate all the other finalists in the home-based business category being Splash 'n' Learn to Swim, Creating Connections and The Splendid Word.

Photos by Luke Hermer.

What Flowering Pear is that?

Flowering Pear Tree - The Garden Planners

In last month’s blog we discussed how we can help you to create a practical landscape design from the outset, to ensure you choose the right plants for the right location, saving you time, money and heartache in the long run.

This month, we’re highlighting how important it is to not only choose the right plant for the right location, but also the right cultivar of plant species.

Too often we see landowners decide to plant a particular species but end up selecting the wrong variety for their specifications. Flowering ornamental pears are one of the most common examples. At this time of year, as the streets come to life with spectacular flowering trees, it can be easy to think ‘I want one of those’, without realising there are several different varieties of ornamental pears. In simple terms, what looks good in the street or your neighbour’s yard might not be the best choice for your garden.

So let’s dig a little deeper on this common species.

Ornamental pears (Pyrus) are fast becoming one of Australia’s most popular trees and it’s not hard to understand why. They are among the hardiest and easiest to grow of all garden trees, able to tolerate a variety of conditions including intermittently wet sites, clay soil and low levels of drought. This hardiness, combined with their attractive appearance and fast growth rate make them a perfect choice in almost any landscape design. Deciduous trees with glossy green leaves, ornamental pears are highly valued for their spectacular autumn tones, white spring flowers and shade in the summer months. Any fruit is usually small, hard and inedible.

However, there are currently dozens of varieties of ornamental pears on the market, ranging in shape, size, colour and tolerances, so it’s important to understand which style is going to best suit your landscaping requirements.


Let’s run through our Top Five ornamental pears to help you choose the right tree for your garden.


Pyrus calleryana 'Capital'

Capital pears are the narrowest growing of all the Pyrus cultivar in Australia. Developing to a height of approximately 10 meters and a width of no more than three meters at maturity, these pears are an excellent choice for narrow, restricted areas and look great used to frame entrance ways or as a tall narrow screen requiring little or no maintenance. Glossy dark green leaves turn reddish-purple late in the season and spring brings a beautiful display of lovely white flowers produced in large corymbs.  An attractive curl in the foliage adds further interest and the slender, columnar shape lends itself well to tight spaces. They are adaptable to a wide range of site conditions and have good disease resistance. Plant in full sun to part shade in reasonably well drained soils for optimum growth. Air pollution should not be a problem for these trees.


Pyrus calleryana 'Bradford'

One of the largest ornamental pear varieties reaching up to 12 meters high and nine meters wide, the Bradford are a pyramidal shaped tree that become broader with age. They feature thick, heart-shaped, glossy green leaves that change to a brilliant red in autumn and have prolific white blossoms in spring. An extremely hardy species, they are adaptable to a wide range of site conditions and don’t suffer from wind and storm damage as much as other varieties. The Bradford are sun-loving and have excellent resistance to urban pollution and compaction but may require protection from strong winds and regular pruning to maintain strong structure.


Pyrus calleryana 'Aristocrat'

The Aristocrat ornamental pear is an attractive, medium sized pear with a strong branch structure and excellent floral display. They are a tough and adaptable tree ideal for use in more spacious landscape situations such as parks or as a street tree. Forming a broad pyramidal to oval shape, they can develop to 10 meters high and sevent meters in width. Fast growing, the Aristocrat have lustrous dark green leaves, brilliant fiery foliage in autumn and abundant clusters of white flowers in spring. Best grown in full sun they will require some protection from sustained high winds.

Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

Chanticleer, also known as ‘Cleveland Select’ are a medium sized upright ornamental pear with a dense habit and attractive foliage. They are currently one of the most widely planted ornamental pears in the USA and are becoming increasingly popular in Australia. Their hardy nature and aesthetic appeal make them an incredibly versatile tree that can be used as a feature in a garden or planted as an avenue or driveway specimen. Branches grow dense and upright, making this variety particularly useful where space is more limited. They are a fast growing tree with brilliant red autumn hues, deep green summer foliage, show stopping white blooms in spring followed by brown coloured fruits. At 11 meters high with a 3-6 meter spread they form a symmetrical tear drop shape. Chanticleer will thrive in rich, well-drained soil in a sunny position but will also adapt well to a range of soils suffering from occasional wet to drier conditions and are less susceptible to wind damage than many other species.


Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula'

Pendula are a well-known, older style, weeping pear with fine, silvery grey willow-like leaves becoming glossy green with maturity. One of the smaller varieties, at approximately four meters high by four meters wide, they have a distinctive rounded head with dense branches that are fine and pendulous but irregular, creating a slightly wild flowing specimen. Spring blossom is delicate creamy white. Fruit is pear-shaped, grey green but inedible. Pendula are a great feature tree for smaller gardens or can be used as a screen against buildings and other structures. Adaptable to a wide range of soil conditions they prefer full sun and can tolerate dry soils.


To help find the perfect ornamental pear tree for your garden
contact Craig at The Garden Planners on 0438 463 233.

The Garden Planners

'We tried to save money by designing our own garden, but it ended up costing us a fortune in lost plants that didn’t survive. How could you have prevented this if I came to you in the first place?'

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: ‘plants aren’t expensive, but design mistakes are’.

Here at The Garden Planners, we have witnessed too many homeowners who have tried to cut corners by buying cheap plants and not thinking about the overall functionality of their outdoor space. Unfortunately these homeowners ended up with plants that just weren’t suited to their environment and a garden design that didn’t match their lifestyle.

For the small investment of between $400 and $600 (compared to the cost of replacing plants that don’t survive) our experienced design team can create a beautiful, affordable and practical garden for you - first time around.

Here's how it works

We begin every design process with a FREE onsite consultation including analysis of soil, drainage, climate conditions and existing vegetation. This is a critical step for successful plant selection and placement, and to fully understand the functionality of the house and the lifestyle of homeowners.

New Home Owner-Affordable Landscape Design-Finish your home with a beautiful garden

The next step is to make a list of your needs in order to determine how your outdoor space will be used and get a good feel for the garden style you desire.

Once we have all this information, we provide you with a professional landscape design that is to scale, in colour and easy to read. This electronic plan will detail all the hardscape and planting elements required, including quantities and species, for you to build and construct your dream garden, obtain quotes from contractors or submit to council if necessary.

The Garden Planners’ difference

Right plants in the right place


The most important element of a successful garden is to know what plants grow best where.

Selecting the wrong plants for the wrong locations can not only cost money, in loss of plants, but also cause potential long term problems such as tree roots growing into pipes, breaking concrete paths or disrupting house-foundation slabs.

Picking the right cultivar of plant species is also very important. Sometimes it isn’t as simple as just picking an ‘ornamental pear’, as there are dozens of different varieties, shapes and sizes.

We ask our clients to talk to us about the type of plants they like and we provide them with realistic options for what will best suit their outdoor space.

Functional for your lifestyle

At The Garden Planners, we believe everyone deserves a garden that is not only beautiful but practical.

There is no point putting in a number of expensive flower beds if you have a dog that likes to dig, or large turfed areas if you don’t have time for lawn mowing.

We take the time to get to know your needs, and understand what is important, in order to prepare a design solution to fit your family.

Whether you need privacy from the neighbours, a large entertaining area or space for the kids to play, we will ensure you get the most value from your outdoor space.

Suited to your environment and climate

The variety of plants on the market today is overwhelming for the average homeowner.

An inexperienced gardener can easily be enticed to purchase a plant because it looks pretty, and be influenced by clever marketing for products, with little knowledge of its origins or growing requirements.

Our team of experienced and knowledgeable horticulturalists can recommend plants that are suited to your climate to save you time, money and heartache.

Our detailed landscape designs also take into consideration how your garden will grow over time and we will show you how to structure your planting, with massing and layering techniques, to ensure your plants continue to thrive in their new micro climate.

Back Yard Concept Design - The Garden Planners


Within your budget

Let’s face it, we all want the best but at what cost? With social media sites such as Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram it can be easy to get carried away and before you know it, you are dreaming of a garden well beyond your budget.

However, a beautiful garden doesn’t have to cost the earth and with a little forward planning and tricks of the trade, you can still have your dream garden without blowing the budget.

We work with you to set a budget and provide realistic options for affordable materials or advice on how to stage your project to achieve the ‘best’ garden to suit your individual needs.

To avoid costly mistakes and get your garden design right the first time around, contact Craig at The Garden Planners today on 0438 463 233.

To avoid costly mistakes and get your garden design right the first time around, contact Craig at The Garden Planners today on 0438 463 233.


Fast track your Landscape Design by contacting us directly.

QLD Office - Kate Turner

P 1300 599 988 – 0400 143 233

VIC OFFICE – Craig Turner

P 1300 599 989 – 0438 463 233

Fast track your Landscape Design by contacting us directly.

QLD Office - Kate Turner

P 1300 599 988 – 0400 143 233


VIC OFFICE – Craig Turner

P 1300 599 989 – 0438 463 233

Fast track your Landscape Design by contacting us directly.QLD Office - Kate Turner
P 1300 599 988–0400 143 233
VIC OFFICE – Craig Turner
P 1300 599 989–0438 463 233