A bluestone pathway winds its way from the front gate to the rear of the home, meandering through the multilayered garden of trees, perennials and grasses. A low hedge of Teucrium fruticans snakes along the path, which is also flanked by prostrate rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ‘Prostratus’), Lomandra ‘Frosty Top’ and strappy bamboo iris (Iris confusa). Snow pears (Pyrus nivalis) and a medlar tree (Mespilus germanica ‘Nottingham’) provide height and colour. In the foreground is an oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia). Black and white fibreglass spheres rest on top of the no-mow grass, Zoysia tenuifolia.
After raising their family in this lovely Edwardian-era home in Melbourne’s south-east, the owners decided it was time to invest in a ‘grown-up’ garden. “We’d been here for 18 years, our two boys had well and truly grown up and we didn’t need play space any more,” says the owner. “Instead, we wanted a beautiful, quiet place where were could sit and enjoy and entertain.”
They knew exactly who they wanted to call. For years they had admired the work of Jane Jones, a landscape architect whose designs they’d come to recognise from walking the streets of their local area. They were drawn to the whimsical and intriguing elements in Jane’s designs and the fact that they weren’t regimented or predictable. “We loved the ‘planned unplanned’ look we’d seen in her gardens,” the owner says, “We had no desire to approach anyone else.”
Their garden was to be designed in two stages, starting with the rear garden which, as Jane remembers it, was “just Astro turf and a pool”. Apart from wanting to transform it from uninteresting play area, the owners’ brief was for “a space where we could have a sense of being lost in the garden”.
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