Grounds and Gardens
The tree planting at Capital Hill Apartments is shown in the Landscape Architects Plan. Among the more unusual plantings for Canberra are several ‘Crimson Sentry’ Norway Maples, Acer platanoides. An avenue of these slow-growing tall slender trees has been established between 17 and 19 State Circle. The foliage emerges as bright red in the spring and remains deep maroon through the summer.
Avenues of Ornamental Pear, Pyrus calleryana, are planted between 19 and 21 and between 21 and 23 State Circle.
A notable feature of the Capital Hill Apartments streetscape from State Circle is the evergreen foliage of star jasmine cascading from the terrace gardens of all four buildings. This star jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, is a native of China. Clusters of fragrant white five-petalled flowers cover the plants in late spring and early summer.
The lawns, front and back, are watered by a below-surface drip-irrigation system. For this reason it is very important that stakes not be placed in the lawns s they can damage the irrigation system. The lawns are a blend of frost-resistant fine tall fescue and Kentucky bluegrass, which remains green throughout the year.
Adjoining Capital Hill Apartment buildings along State Circle and Melbourne Avenue is a continuous cover of Grevillea pooinda ‘Royal Mantle’ (19 and 23 State Circle) and Grevillea ‘Bronze Rambler’ (17 and 21 State Circle). These are both vigorous ground cover plants, which are thriving in our environment. They flower over an extended period with a flush of bright red toothbrush-like flowers in spring.
Among the ornamental trees planted in the garden behind the Capital Hill Apartments are several Japanese flowering crabapples, Malus floribunda, as well as the later-flowering Malus ioensis , native to the United States. Two new Malus ioensis have been planted near the rear fence behind 21 State Circle to replace two Mexican Alder trees, Alnus jorulensis, which were threatening to become too large.
A community herb garden, accessible to all residents, has been established behind No 21 at the top of the steps. The organic herb garden consists mainly of perennial herbs, sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic chives. There is also a bay tree with leaves ready to pick. Italian parsley and curled-leaf parsley are also there. More herbs have been planted behind No 19 at the bottom of the steps, including mint, parsley, French tarragon, rosemary, thyme, onion chives, lemon thymeand Greek oregano.
Screen plantings of Camellia sasanqua, flowering in autumn and early winter, are planted along the boundary behind 17 and 19 State Circle. The sasanqua varieties planted are ‘Plantation Pink’ and ‘Something Special’. There is a screen planting of Callistemon ‘Harkness’ at the boundary behind 19 and 21 State Circle. These bottlebrushes produce masses of blood-red flowers in late spring and early summer. Bottlebrushes are well suited to the environment at the rear of our buildings. Callistemon ‘Harkness’ has been supplemented by additional plantings of Callistemon ‘Captain Cook’ along the boundary behind 21 and 23 State Circle. In December 2011 a row of Callistemon ‘Little John’ was planted alongside the path behind No 23 State Circle. These low-growing shrubs will add to the display of dark red bottlebrush flowers, mainly in spring.
Maintenance of the grounds and garden, including management of the irrigation system, is contracted out to All Season’s Horticultural Services, Managing Director, Luke Oldfield. Under the terms of the contract lawn mowing and edging is carried out weekly September to March and fortnightly April to August. Weeding, heavy pruning, fertilizer application, pest control and removal of excess leaf litter are included in the contract.