Periodic Charm

Periodic Charm


Garden DesignThis recently renovated garden has timeless appeal and an abundance of plants
Story: Karen Booth
Photos: Peter Brennan

In reinvigorating this heritage property, the challenge was threefold: to create a garden in keeping with the character of the house; to work within the constraints imposed on listed properties; and to balance the old with the new.

Tired and neglected, the original gardens were in desperate need of a fresh, more functional design that would better suit the young family and their two active Irish wolfhounds. What was required was a pool and a space for relaxation — all set within “a real garden”.

Continuity was paramount, as was forging a seamless connection between spaces, so the design called for significant attention to detail in the selection and use of materials and finishes.

Brick paving, laid in a herringbone pattern, recreates the detail of a Spanish rill garden, with plantings of dwarf sasanqua camellias to soften the walls. Prostrate sasanquas, rosemary, iris and gardenias add depth while lavender and buxus create a parterre incorporating four orange trees and a patch of homegrown vegies.

Sawn sandstone with a brick inlay creates a sitting area around the pool where buxus and star jasmine mask the walls and hide hard edges. Elsewhere, retaining walls were remodeled using existing stone.

Plants play a defining role in this garden. Formal hedging is used to soften and hide retaining walls and fences. The formal pond features a sunny perennial garden full of roses, heliotrope, cornflowers, geraniums and lambs ears that bathe the area with colour and fragrance. Tapered buxus cones define the space, adding a hint of structure to the freedom of the perennials.

The “contemplation garden” has clipped buxus to exaggerate the path detail and cone topiaries to add depth and balance while leading you to an original dovecote set among nepeta and roses. Perennials, including anemone, hellebores, acanthus, crocus and ajuga, abound under the established sasanqua camellias.

A fine eye for detail from the landscaper, S-ense Landscapes, has created a fluid garden that’s as easy to move through as it is comfortable and relaxing.