RESTORING A LEGACY
Backyard & Garden Design Ideas|Issue #17.6
A heritage garden in suburban Melbourne needed plenty of tender loving care in this makeover
Cassandra Elliott

Complementing an historic one-acre (0.4-hectare) property in Melbourne built back in the 1860s and listed on the National Trust, this garden is believed to have been originally designed by William Guilfoyle, creator of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. In 2018, the team at Ian Barker Gardens faced the task of restoring the original grandeur of the 150-year-old space.

Director Ian Barker was excited about embarking on the project. “It’s very special to find an acre like this in suburban Melbourne,” he says. “You’d be hard-pressed to find a garden with as much legacy.” The clients respected the area’s origins, wanting to preserve and restore the old charm and create designated entertaining spaces.

At the front of the home, the team wanted to pay homage to the original garden designer by adding a modern twist to the old-world style. Ian explains their vision: “We designed and constructed a large sweeping lawn edged with garden beds of mixed perennials and grasses, all offset by the original established pin oaks. In an effort to preserve as much of the property’s original charm as possible, we restored the original rose arbours and existing sculptures back to their former glory.”

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