Yantaringa, which translates as ‘house on top of a hill’, has lovely views down over steeply sloping paddocks, where wood ducks paddle on the dam and a few errant rabbits frolic in the grass.
It’s a fairly common view for a historic Adelaide Hills house, but the garden at Yantaringa is less typical. Owners Scott and Jodi Brumby love the structure and clean lines of French gardens, and with the ongoing help of designer Virginia Kennett they’ve restored and remade Yantaringa’s old-fashioned garden to cater to contemporary life.
The 2.7-hectare property dates from the 1860s, when Chinese market gardeners are thought to have built a modest two-room cottage on the site. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that master builder and designer Walter Torode established a larger house.
When the Brumbys arrived in 2002, the property held plenty of large trees but had no “daunting horticultural history” to hamper redevelopment, says Virginia. At the front of the house, the overwhelming scale of several old pines and poplars had severely distorted a line of flowering cherry trees. The cherries were removed, as were roses that were failing to thrive in the shade. Nevertheless, where possible, existing trees and shrubs were retained. The Brumbys “provided a very strong aesthetic brief”, says Virginia, and the garden evolved in tandem with the restoration and expansion of the house.
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