Words by James Dessent, Photography by Amelia Stanwix
For our latest feature garden we decided to stay a little closer to home. Because the beauty of a home garden is found in the knowledge that it’s your own individual space.
Landscape Designer Phillip Withers loves working with others to help bring their ideas of the perfect home garden to life. The collaboration during the design phase is a truly rewarding part of the process for Phil and his team. And in his spare time – which there hasn’t been as much of following a busy and successful Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show – Phil likes to use his own courtyard home garden as a laboratory for experimentation.
Working with a limited amount of space demands a strong design concept and a well-complied shortlist of must have features. At the top of Phil’s list: a vertical garden that is bursting with a rotating cast of herbs and others edibles. The design of the vertical garden along with the pots allow him to position the herbs where they will do the best and also regularly swap them out and bring in others. “I don’t have a lot of room to play with so having the option to change things up based on what’s in season was really important,” said Phil.
The current crop of herbs that can be found in Phil’s vertical garden include basil, parsley, mint, oregano, Vietnamese mint and thyme. A wide array of succulents and other plants that cope well with the shady surrounds help fill out the rest of the vertical garden and create a calming green canopy when you’re sitting on the bench seat. And tucked away in the corner is an espaliered lemon tree and some potted up strawberry plants. “We’ve also had some great results with things like salad leaves and beans in the past – it’s just fun trying new things and finding out what works and what doesn’t,” said Phil.
Some of Phil’s latest projects for his evolving home garden include growing potatoes and creating space for a worm farm, which will provide a source of natural fertiliser all year round. “Ultimately my attitude towards my own garden is to use it as a blank canvas to try new things and then see what sticks,” he said
If you’re looking for ideas on how you can improve your own home garden, contact the team at Phillip Withers Landscape Design here phillipwithers.com/contact-us/