VIEW FROM THE TOP
Backyard & Garden Design Ideas|Issue #17.6
A challenging climate is no barrier to a beautiful outdoor space
Angela Young

When you purchase a property in Gisborne with spectacular views of Melbourne’s skyline and Mount Macedon, you know you’ve hit the jackpot. The question now becomes: “How do I frame the view?”

That’s exactly the challenge that confronted this home’s new owners. How do you make the most of the amazing views while screening unsightly items such as the water tank and providing protection from the wind, snow and scorching heat? Not to mention establish a garden robust enough to handle the resident kangaroos, rabbits, and wombats.

Adding to these challenges was a wish list that included the ability to grow herbs and vegetables, creating areas for entertaining, providing shade for a new pool (that mustn’t block the view, incidentally), as well as making the space low maintenance and fire-resistant.

The journey starts at the main entrance, where large stone pillars and a Corten steel automated gate offer a few clues that something special lies beyond. Meandering up a steep, windy driveway, you can start to anticipate the views that might be on offer. The visitors’ parking area is surrounded by a birch grove. Large basalt steps lead to a gravel path that winds through the front garden under a timber arbour and past a Corten steel water rill. Mass plantings of Australian natives and hardy exotics peppered throughout give the garden a contemporary feel.

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