Perth Icon: Garden Revitalisation

Apr 5, 2019

A story on salt and acidity – Classic Perth


Le Fanu is an iconic Perth home in Cottesloe on Marine Parade. In 2018 Earth & Water had the pleasure of working on this home. The goal was to improve the gardens and lawns to look exceptional with minimal maintenance requirements. 

It was an interest project that required some unique design elements for the unique property. The date palm in the front garden now has a sprinkler at the top of it to wash of salt from the ocean!

3 key issues:

1. Sea spray is plentiful and very concentrated
2. Soil acidity (ph.) was wrong
3. Low soil nutrition

All of these come from its location – directly across from the ocean. Perth’s coastal climate is exacerbated on this property resulting in windswept trees with low salt crusting and soil degradation.

3 part solution:
1. A Water conditioner treatment system
2.  Upgraded sprinklers
3. Soil Fertilisers & Ph correction


Soil analysis showed very high levels of copper, iron, zinc, sulphur, calcium & acidity. These are all impurities that build up and damage water system and infrastructure. The red stain you see on walls and paving across perth is iron staining. 

The soil conditioner reduces mineralisation in pipes and on plants. This stops them from absorbing nutrients! The water conditioner changes the ionic structure of the water such that mineralisation decreases and plants absorb nutrients more efficiently.


Washing the Salt Off
The hedges and small plants had a coat of salt on them. Over time this builds up into what is called “Sodicity”. Leaves become crusty and heavy, not able to absorb nutrients and slowly die. This came directly from sea spray and to mitigate it we changed the heads of the sprinklers to increase range and height. The upgraded sprinklers now wash off salt on continual basis and plants are able to thrive. This is a very simple but effective mitigation strategy.

The Date Palm in the front garden has a small sprinkler in its canopy that washes the fronds. It is the first time Earth & Water has ever mounted a sprinkler in a tree!

It is a heritage listed house and has been renovated recently. You can read more about Le Fanu through this link to Domain: 

If you want to improve your water quality and garden in any way, call our director Nigel, on 0427 980 971 

Call us for a water treatment audit.

Director – Nigel Thompson
Phone: 0427 980 971

Rina Lewis
Rina Lewis
02:10 28 Jun 19
From the first phone call, Nigel and his team have been very professional and very helpful. Nigel takes care to explain everything very clearly. I could see that my garden was struggling to survive but I didn't know why. Nigel suspected high salt levels in the bore water and a high soil PH. This was later confirmed by a Laboratory test. I agreed to Nigel's recommendation to install his Fertigation and Water Conditioning system. The whole process was completed without a hitch and within a month my garden started showing signs of recovery. What I also love is that I can apply fertiliser direct through this system, saving me the time spent spreading fertiliser. The Fertigation system means I'm no longer loosing sleep over my garden and to me that's money well spent.
Phil Jack
Phil Jack
05:12 09 Mar 19
Nigel at Earth and Water has designed and installed the landscaping and retic systems for our current and previous homes. When re-financing the valuers have commented that the landscaping has added considerable value to the home, we just think it looks great. The retic is something special as it allows us to fertilise by putting it in a bucket and opening a couple of valves to allow it to be distributed through the system. Much easier. We have no hesitation in recommending Earth and Water.
Samuel Hyde
Samuel Hyde
07:42 03 Jan 19
Incredible. By far the most professional contractor we engaged over the 3 years of building our house. I am confident that there would be no one better at Landscaping in Perth. Nigel took a difficult job with lots of criteria to satisfy and delivered it well above the standard we thought was possible. We had engaged other well known Landscapers who just had no answers to the issues we had. Nigel and the guys at Earth & Water blow all the competition out of the water.
Tim Bariss
Tim Bariss
23:41 04 Dec 18
Nigel and his team did a fantastic job for us and our front gardens with raised veggie beds are constantly admired by our neighbors. Fixed and identified problems that others had told us were lost causes (no need for a new bore and our lawn is looking great, we thought we'd have to start again). Great advice, quality work and the guys doing the work are all awesome. Highly recommended....
Dinusha S
Dinusha S
12:41 04 Feb 18
We love our new lawn and garden beds! Earth and Water were great to work with and very accommodating in helping us setup a low maintenance yard with lots of room to grow over time =)
Olga Ward
Olga Ward
02:09 16 Feb 15
Earth and Water were recommended to us when building our home. They have been involved in designing all of our irrigation, rainwater tanks, greywater system and now some green walls as well. We've found them to be friendly, efficient and very persistent when something brand new [and there's a lot with our home that was pretty new technology when it was installed] doesn't work properly. We're very happy with the way the system is designed and how well it all works. And the ability to translate a concept to a practical design has been amazing! thanks to all of you.
Russell Ward
Russell Ward
13:16 11 Feb 15
We have had a great experience with using Earth and Water for our gardens. After 4 attempts with other companies we had almost given up hope of creating the right garden for our home. After our experience with the creation of our vertical garden by Earth and Water (an awesome feature of our new internal courtyard) we asked Nigel to consider what he would do with the sloping front yard. It turned out fantastically and really complements the front of our house (we are talking about re-levelling, walls, plants, fence and reticulation – the lot). Our relationship continued to the large backyard and at last we have a backyard we enjoy being in – fun and practical. We have really enjoyed the creative process, have been very well treated and highly recommend Earth and Water to our friends!
12:28 11 Feb 15
We value our reputation at Virgin Bores just as much as Nigel does at Earth and Water..... No hesitation in recommending our clients to Nigel for specialist attention from a true professional in irrigation and water management. Had plenty of customers thank us over the years for the referral. Nigel's expertise in sub surface and drip irrigation are recognised industry wide. Important though with sub surface irrigation that service and maintenance recommendations are adhered to. Just ask Nigel for advice.
geoff mclaughlin
geoff mclaughlin
10:02 11 Feb 15
Earth and Water were contacted to help develop a landscape design when we redeveloped our dental practice on Canning Highway in 2008. We were struggling to create a design that would work adjacent our rear car park which had a sloping block. We also wanted to create an appealing frontage for our business. I met with the owner of Earth and Water, Nigel Thompson to discuss our landscaping and reticulation needs. Nigel is a genius with a natural eye for design and creative ideas and thanks to him we were able to create a beautiful garden that is commented on consistently. Nigel was able to share his passion and due to his tireless enthusiasm we were completely satisfied with the results. As the owner of Earth and Water he has always given us his complete attention and over the last years whenever there has been issues with maintenance Nigel and his team at Earth and Water are always there for us to keep our garden blooming. Always highly recommended.
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