We were approached by these clients to beautify their leafy inner Eastern property – a double storey Neo-Georgian number on a hilly corner block. When it was built 20 years earlier, our clients had run out of the energy and inspiration required to finish the front garden. And there it sat, a prominent corner property halfway down the hill, exposed and unadorned, the front garden on the to-do list.
Architecturally the house is not fabulous. It is bulky and unarticulated. It could well have been dropped from space with every singe brick stacking on the one below without a single bridging lintel to provide shape or form to the structure. Couple that with the naturally steep slope of the site, the house dominates it’s surrounds like a blight on a hill.
Our immediate solution was to bring the earth back up to the architecture and try to place it into better context with it’s surrounds. We worked a series of retained terraces around the border of the property so that the entrance was defined and the building looked bedded in rather than precariously slipping away. Our next step was to take those newly terraced gardens and create a perennial woodland garden across them.
The garden reads from the south face across to the west face of the building, so creating continuity within the planting design required some dexterity. We provided seasonality in flower and autumnal colour while also giving year round strength with dense evergreen shrubs. Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ beds alongside a valley of Sweet Violet with a sweep of Gardenia ‘Grandiflora Star’ to provide early summer scent.
Mounding clumps of Sweet Box perfume the winter and the structural forms of Agave attenuata flank the formal entrance.
Lace-leafed Maples cast a delicate shade at human level, while Chanticleer pears bring the house into proportion with it’s surrounds.
The result? A transformation you’d have to agree. The bare and domineering presence of this home has been embedded into the landscape, and for the first time in twenty years it looks like it belongs.