Exuding an air of tranquility, this lush landscape offers year-round appeal and seasonal interest
Plants make a garden. They’re what draw us out and make us want to linger. This exquisite garden by Jane Jones Landscapes is a stunning case in point — it’s also the winner of the Plants in the Landscape category in the 2016 Landscaping Victoria Industry Awards.
A garden of loose informal design, it features lush mass plantings of contrasting foliage and texture. Moreover, it provides seasonality in flower and autumnal colour to create year-round interest.
“The primary goal was to realise a design that would enhance the then newly renovated Victorian home while complementing the owner’s lifestyle needs and artistic aesthetic,” explains designer Jane Jones. “The owner is an artist and desired a garden with pockets of varying interest constructed through layers of foliage and contrasting textural qualities.”
At the rear, the house opens onto a large deck that extends the living space into the outdoors and provides a formal space for dining and entertainment. “One can access the rear lawn directly from the deck or via staggered terraces of bluestone paving, which meander down beneath a large vine-covered arbour extending from the garage and also provide access to both the garage and driveway,” explains Jane.
Four arbours were constructed across the front and rear gardens. In addition to the one off the garage, a smaller arbour was constructed over a bench seat at the back of the property, creating a little seating nook. In the front garden, one arbour is positioned over the pedestrian gate; the other, clad in wisteria, over the driveway entrance.
“The arbours link the two spaces and also complement and reflect the heritage of the house, uniting house and garden and adding a dimension of architectural formality to the lush surroundings of soft green plantings,” says Jane. “To one side of the rear lawn a whimsical gallery of flowering cherry trees, positioned on convex mounds, breaks up the mass of lawn,” she continues. “Their twisted trunks establish them as a living sculptural feature while their soft blossoms provide a seasonal visual delight through spring.”
In the front garden, a curved path interrupts sweeping mass plantings that feature striking combinations of Buxus microphylla var. japonica and Westringia fruticosa spheres. Says Jane, “The spheres provide an excellent means of adding a structural quality to loose mass plantings.
Their form also affords a somewhat traditional formal planting with a more contemporary aesthetic.”
The front garden is also home to Acer palmatum, Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’, Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ and Prunus lusitanica, which all contribute height, and an engaging assortment of unusual perennials along with soft groundcover plantings of trailing rosemary.
As this is a landscape to be enjoyed after the sun sets, outdoor lighting has been installed in strategic locations, such as at the base of each flowering cherry tree. The result is a garden that holds you in its soft embrace and has an enigmatic quality both day and night.
For more information
Originally in Outdoor Design & Living, Volume 34