THE ARTISTS’ GAR­DEN

Tex­tu­ral plant­ings and warm tones have been added to this cor­ner de­vel­op­ment to soften its brand-new feel.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS - CHRIS­TINE MULLEN

A city court­yard has a soft­en­ing makeover with new plant­ings and touches of whimsy.

KATE HERD’S COURT­YARD de­sign for artists Chris­tine and Chris was al­ways go­ing to have to be one “out of the box”. As a coun­try cou­ple that were swap­ping ru­ral idyll for a con­tem­po­rary city pad in Al­ph­ing­ton, Vic, the orig­i­nal plant­ing by the devel­op­ers was way too square – lit­er­ally with hedges and fences con­fin­ing the court­yard.

Kate opened up the de­sign, re­mov­ing some hedges and in­stead in­cor­po­rat­ing tex­tu­ral plant­ings like na­tives and suc­cu­lents, and clev­erly in­cor­po­rat­ing the cor­ner block’s na­ture strip. To add fur­ther di­men­sions, views have been opened out wher­ever pos­si­ble, mak­ing the bor­rowed land­scape a valu­able part of this con­tem­po­rary court­yard.

It’s now a rich and var­ied space, with slate crazy paving rich in fos­sils me­an­der­ing through it, mim­ick­ing the nearby Yarra River, whose up­per reaches are just down the hill. Its won­der­fully eclec­tic pot col­lec­tion, which in­cludes old laun­dry cop­pers, barbed-wire fenc­ing and wicker bas­kets, cre­ates stun­ning vi­gnettes, and whim­si­cal touches like an out­door paint­ing of a clothes­line and a hang­ing wall frieze add in­ter­est to the walls and gate.

“I love that our small space has be­come a chang­ing land­scape.”

Slats nice Tim­ber slat­ted fur­ni­ture adds a sense of space.

Deep pur­ple The rich-toned fo­liage of aeo­nium cre­ates year-round colour.

Fo­liage front Na­tives were planted in the na­ture strip.

On the up

The wan­der­ing ten­drils of the Vir­ginia creeper.

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