Dubbed Four Seasons, this award-winning garden is designed to be enjoyed all year round.
As the seasons change, different areas step into the spotlight, engaging the eye and drawing you outside. “Summer is embodied by socialising, so we built a pergola with a high-pitched roof and furnished it with lounges and an outdoor kitchen,” says Rob Waddell, Principal Designer and Director, Waddell Landscape Design & Construction. “By relaxing in the shade, you can enjoy the hottest summer day surrounded by the sight and sounds of a pair of bubbling ponds. After all, what is summer without the perfect outdoor entertaining area?
“Autumn showcases the breathtaking maple trees cycling through their vivid array of colours. This design has a large feature maple in the foreground, as well as different deciduous eye-catchers planted along the back fence.
“As the temperature starts to cool, winter thrusts the sunken fire pit area into the spotlight. The perfect place for entertaining and sharing a drink with friends, this spot is warm and inviting, even in colder conditions.
“When spring arrives, this design displays an array of colour with Agastache, Penstemon, gardenias and hydrangeas all bursting into flower,” continues Rob. “The textures and height changes of the Miscanthus along with the camellia balls, creates structure and interest as well as softening the hard structures and balancing the feel of the Four Seasons garden.”
An ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple was installed at a mature height to help balance the scale of the garden — it does this by offsetting the height of the pergola. Ficus hillii hedges on each side are for privacy and a clean, green border. Lagerstroemia tuscarora was underplanted with Hydrangea ‘Sundae Fraise’ for some amazing colour along the bluestone pathway. Perennials and gardenias were chosen for lower-growing plant life in the foreground of the garden, ensuring the view would not be obstructed.
There is hidden lighting to place focus on the feature trees and also a strip light underneath the built-in bench seat in the fire pit area. Lighting helps create depth and also safety by highlighting level changes at night.
“Bluestone paving was used as a solid and reliable surface for the pathways, entertaining patio and fire pit area. This material helped to balance the overall feel of the garden and contrast the cypress used to line the ceiling of the steel-framed pergola and build the fire pit bench seat,” says Rob.
“The rear screen is of rough-sawn cypress battens. The battens provided a privacy screen that blended into the backdrop and almost disappeared among the plants.”
Of Four Seasons, which won a Silver Show Garden Award at the 2019 Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show, Rob says, “I designed it to be a functional garden that people could imagine in their own backyard. There was lawn for the kids and dogs to run around on, and a variety of usable spaces for families, of which the main entertaining space is the focal point.
“From the entry path, to the entertaining area, fire pit area and lawn — each element serves a purpose and contributes to the overall feel and function of the garden.”
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