A newly planted garden is an in­ter­est­ing blend of struc­ture and in­for­mal­ity.

Belle - - Belle Promotion - Pho­to­graphs SI­MON GRIF­FITHS Words GE­ORGINA REID

It seems like a con­tra­dic­tion – a struc­tured garden with loose plant­ing, but here it works like a dream.

This page The rear garden is dom­i­nated by a large paved en­ter­tain­ing ter­race anked by four lin­den trees (Tilia cor­data). Op­po­site page This garden is very much about tex­tu­ral con­trast and form.

“AT THE END OF THE DAY THE OWNER WILL COME HOME AND GET INTO THE GARDEN. HE E VEN PRUNE S AT NIG HT BY TO RCH LIGHT!” This page Ran­dom-cut Castle­maine slate tiles sur­rounded by creep­ing thyme (Thy­mus ser­pyl­lum ‘Alba’) lead to the rus­tic pot­ting bench in the rear garden, anked by tall hedges of weep­ing lily pilly (Water­housea ori­bunda). Op­po­site page, from top Kate Sed­don’s de­sign in­ten­tion for the en­try was to pro­vide a sense of ar­rival, while main­tain­ing a feel­ing of warmth and cre­ativ­ity. Step­ping stones in ground­cover are used through­out the garden as an al­ter­na­tive to paving, cre­at­ing an over­whelm­ing sense of be­ing en­veloped by green­ery within the space.

Agar­den should be used and en­joyed. That’s my in­ten­tion,” says Mel­bourne-based land­scape de­signer Kate Sed­don when speak­ing of an el­e­gant and eclec­tic garden she de­signed in South Yarra. It’s a gor­geous space, ank­ing a 1930s Mar­cus Martin­de­signed home with a re­cent rear ad­di­tion by ar­chi­tects Pow­ell & Glenn.

Kate was in­vited by the client to un­der­take the garden de­sign dur­ing the process of the house ren­o­va­tions. The brief was to main­tain the feel of the ex­ist­ing garden – con­sist­ing of stone walls, raised beds and an Edna Walling vibe – while in­te­grat­ing it with the strong ar­chi­tec­ture of the re­vamped house.

“The clients re­quested that the garden sit some­where be­tween in­for­mal­ity and for­mal­ity. They wanted quite a bit of struc­ture, but loose­ness in the plant­ing,” says Kate. She achieved this by main­tain­ing a sim­ple geo­met­ric lay­out, draw­ing from the lines of the house, and also through the use of plants as struc­ture. “Ni­cole de Vésian’s garden in Provence was an in­spi­ra­tion for us,” says Kate. “We wanted to cre­ate de ni­tion within the plant­ing and con­trast this with more ow­ing forms and mess. All gar­dens need a bit of mess!”

The prop­erty’s en­try garden con­sists of a sim­ple slate-paved path­way anked by cloud pruned lily pillys (Ac­mena smithii). A low sh pond sits at the cen­tre of the space, sur­rounded by a mix of dif­fer­ent toned gravel and low sculp­tural plant­ing, in­clud­ing Ja­panese pit­tospo­rum (Pit­tospo­rum ‘Miss Muf­fet’) and cloud

pruned box (Buxus mi­cro­phylla). “It’s a lovely garden to en­ter,” says Kate. “It has a sense of grandeur, yet it’s also warm and invit­ing.”

The rear garden con­sists of a large en­ter­tain­ing area paved with ran­dom-cut Castle­maine slate. Four lin­den trees (Tilia cor­data) punc­tu­ate the hard sur­face, fram­ing views from the house into the garden. Pro­vid­ing a back­drop to this area is a low stone wall with clipped box plants, clumps of Agave at­ten­u­ata and cot­ton laven­der (San­tolina chamae­cy­paris­sus).

A curved stone stair­case leads up to a low ter­race be­hind the stone wall where an ad­di­tional small seat­ing area is pro­vided, with a back­drop of mother-in-law’s tongue and a bird sculp­ture, sourced by the client, sit­ting in a bed of mondo grass.

What I like about this garden is its per­son­al­ity. It’s not a space con­trived en­tirely by the de­signer, but it’s a de­signed garden that’s been added to and loved by the own­ers. They’ve lled the space with their own – often whim­si­cal – sculp­tures and fur­ni­ture, and main­tain it them­selves. It has a warm, lived-in feel.

Plants and ma­te­ri­als are beau­ti­fully bal­anced in this garden. The spa­ces are gen­er­ous and prac­ti­cal, and en­hanced by the lush and tex­tu­ral plant­ing de­sign. The build­ings, the walls, and the oors are all draped in plants, soft­en­ing strong lines and pro­vid­ing the clients with a won­der­ful, invit­ing garden to spend time in – which, clearly, they do.

“At the end of the day the owner will come home and get into the garden. He even prunes at night by torch-light! He’s very pas­sion­ate about it,” says Kate. “The best gar­dens are the ones that are tended by the own­ers.” I couldn’t agree more.

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