Serene and Green: a formal period-home garden

Serene and Green: a formal period-home garden


Of formal style, the front and rear gardens that wrap around this period home have a look that is timeless

Having bought an Edwardian home in Melbourne’s leafy Surrey Hills, the owners immediately embarked on a major renovation and extension program. Of course a stunning period home deserves a garden of equal splendour and the owners entrusted Erin Green from Natures Best Landscapes with the task of producing a sympathetic and timeless landscape.

“The clients wanted the garden to be well structured, formal and feature materials that would complement the home,” explains Erin. “The sound of running water outside the main bedroom was a must and as the front of the house faces east they wanted to be able to enjoy a morning coffee on the front verandah. For this reason, privacy from the street was important.”

A multi-level pond allowed Erin to bring the sound of bubbling water close to the bedroom windows. The feature boasts an elevated bluestone spillway that sends running water into a black-pebbled rill. The rill runs underneath the front path and the pebbles break the movement of water before it takes a one-metre drop over another stone spillway into a reflection pond.

Says Erin, “The water feature had to be designed precisely so it was balanced in the landscape. This is the wow factor of the entire design. It is viewed from multiple angles of the garden and also dictates how you move through the space, linking all areas together.”

Overcoming the many level changes was a major challenge. “We were dealing with a pedestrian gate entrance with a set footpath level, a set driveway level, and we had to work with the height of the front verandah and doorway,” explains Erin. “Retaining walls to the lower driveway side were constructed to create a level front yard along with steps from the driveway to the front path.”

The planting scheme is structured and formal. A Syzygium australe ‘Bush Christmas’ hedge frames the raised pond and is clipped underneath the water feature’s bullnose capping to create the illusion that the pond is floating. Pyrus calleryana ‘Capital’ frames the boundaries, adding height and allowing in the northern light in winter. Viburnum tinus screens the front fence and enhances privacy while Buxus hedges and clipped domes frame garden beds and the rill.

“The rear garden is a space where the family can relax or invite friends over for a barbecue, dip in the pool or cosy fireside chat,” says Erin. “The covered deck attached to the home makes indoor-outdoor living easy and features everything needed to cook, dine and relax in complete comfort, no matter what the season.”

Just a few steps away, an elevated deck with a vine-clad timber pergola, rustic fire pit and curved bench provides a space for intimate gatherings. For chilling out there is a spacious poolside lounge area. There is also a pool water feature, which adds the soothing sound of water in motion, and a formal planting scheme that provides a serene outlook from every angle.

Front and rear gardens bring great delight to the owners. The project also impressed the judges of the 2013 Victoria Landscape Awards, who bestowed two accolades: a Commended in both the Landscape Design under 150sqm and Feature in the Landscape categories.

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Nature’s Best Landscapes