How did they get started in the landscape business?
Aakash studied law & psychology at uni until he realised it wasn’t his jam. He took a leap of faith, starting an apprenticeship as a structural landscaper and started his business in 2015 because of his love for the outdoors. What Aakash loves about landscape design is the diversity and with 3 teams operating at any one time across South East Qld, he and his business partner Tristen, have a busy, vibrant business.
Our BIGGEST takeaway from this interview!
We loved learning this key point – no garden is ‘set and forget’. The longevity of a well designed garden will be determined by great maintenance. Aakash recommends getting a quarterly or half yearly visit by a good landscaper. They will tidy things up, but importantly, they will test the PH of the soil – everything you see above is influenced by the soil. This will cost you anywhere between $500 & $1,000 for the maintenance but to us, this sounds like it is worth it to keep your beautiful landscape in tip top shape!
Common misconceptions new clients have?
Aakash finds that people often have ideas about plants and images of gardens that don’t suit our climate here in South East Qld. You may find a lovely image from Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, but that may not be appropriate for here. He assures us it’s OK to bring imagery of what you love to the process, but they will just try and understand what the essence is that you love about that image so that they can create that using plants endemic to our climate.
What gets Aakash & his team really excited?
Working with native species! They love the idea of rolling back the landscape 50 or 100 years. So much of the growth of our towns & cities has happened at the expense of our native ecosystems and Aakash and his team love to promote biodiversity with their landscapes. There’s more to life than humans *gasp* and the balance is creating landscapes that encourage the birds & bees while still making it sexy!
I’ve got some massive trees in my yard, am I obliged to keep them just because their big?!
Always pretty hesitant to take down big trees, Aakash says its important to determine what the tree is bringing to the site. Firstly, discover if it has noxious flowers or seeds that are toxic to the soil or birdlife. If the tree is not a weed and not noxious, the second thing is to really test that it is contributing to the site. If it isn’t, then perhaps the gain of a new, more biodiverse landscape in its place is worth it. If it is – design around it!
Who is your ideal client and when should they get in touch with you?
These guys love working with people who are open to creating a story and a journey with their landscape. They love clients who are happy to peel back a few more layers, dig a little deeper (no pun intended) and uncover they joy a great landscape can bring.
They are really excited about being involved as early as possible. Once the basic concept for the architecture is in place, they love that the landscape can help to frame up the project & create some really interesting interplay between building & landscape.
What are their favourite themes?
Aakash openly admits his bias towards coastal landscapes. He loves the beach himself, so a brief for a native coastal landscape is his happy place! He believes these landscapes give less structure, and a more organic holistic approach. His preference is to work with planting tones that are muted colours and pastels.
Favourite Indoor Plant & Most Underrated Plant?
The Philodendron Rojo Congo is Aakash’s favourite indoor plant because it loves the indoors, loves dappled light, is really low maintenance & isn’t super thirsty!
Aakash lists the Banksia as the most underrated plant because of its beautiful qualities – it is gnarly, raw and turns & twists and he loves the architectural qualities of this!
Annnnnd because we love learning from our friends, we asked Aakash what his top small business tip is!
Aakash has learned of the value of the interplay between confidence & humility. He believes you should focus on what your strengths are and be humble enough to recognise what you’re not strong in. This has meant he has been able to successfully collaborate with lots of people who can ‘fill the gaps’. He doesn’t think you need to be a super hero and wear all the hats – sometimes it is about holding the space for others to bring their own expertise!