Words by Phillip Withers, Photography by Vivian Scarpari
Its just gone 10 years since the day that Andy and Victoria moved into there home in Abbotsford by the city. It was a journey that started out with blood sweat and tears as they looked to renovate the interior, all from bedrooms to bathrooms as they slowly worked there way to creating the dream home they had planned in the beginning.
They have come a long way in the time they had been here, and its interesting to here that in its former life this building ‘an old boot factory founded in the 1920s would churn out boots for diggers in the second world war. Now as its been developed into houses , Andy says “Atleast the sole of the place hasn’t been lost” and has a chuckle…
As time went on the house became a home, and Victoria and Andy made the decision to bring up a family within these walls. It was at this point that they realized that something needed to be done not just inside, but outside aswell. So they continued to renovate downstairs and as the young children in Lilly and Tommy slowly grew they knew it was time to think about the garden.
It was at this point they engaged the team at Phillip Withers Landscape design to look at how the garden could connect to the architecture. As Victoria put it “We want the house to flow out into the courtyard area” So it was here they created there dream list and we set out to design a landscape that was met with enthusiasm.
The layout looked to step out the backdoor on the same level as the house onto a curved Australian hardwood, spotted gum deck area with planting to the borders such as Giant Strelizia, Canna, Aeonium, Alpinia and even Carex plants popping out of the decking. It leads you through to an L shaped bench seat area to eat by the barbecue. The seats are bordered with screens by Lump sculpture both to the fence boundary and beneath the seating which is fitted with angled screens inserted with strip lighting for evening ambience.
Another big key to the garden was to create a feeling of green, and it was here the design looked to let the decking become a boardwalk through a sunken garden. It was much to the childrens delight that this little jungle also encaptured there most treasured possession! A big circular in-ground trampoline, and as Lilly says “We love jumping on the trampoline and one time we even got to put a tent out here and sleep on it, ha ha”. The trampoline sits centre of stage in the jungle and its encased with low water use strappy leaf plants such as Clivia, Doryanthes, Lomandra, Kniphofia, Nandina and Armeria to surround the circular stepping stones.
The rear of the garden is bordered with Corten steel raised planters fitted with Bambusa to finish off the jungle feeling. The boardwalk then leads you up into the rear laneway where you are met with the pop of orange in a gate screen that also lights up to present a place to rest your eyes on between the host of foliage.
As Victoria says “It’s a garden that works so well into our lives, the kids love it! we love it! and it seems the whole neighbourhood enjoy coming round here to play”
We have included the planting plan and plant list for everyone to encapture there piece of the jungle below…