“It was always going to be a gardener’s garden”
James created a diverse planting scheme to build on the layering. Chosen to suit the coastal location and sandy soil, natives meet exotics for a lush look that fits in with the natural surroundings. Planted in groups for impact, tropical-foliage ginger and cardamom are mixed with finer wispy grasses, chunky succulents and small-leaf flowering shrubs. Bold shapes of Gymea lily and Alocasia create eye-catching features. The result is a year-round tapestry of textures and colour from ground to tree canopy in an easy-care garden. “I had to have a magnolia, which my mum loved, and a lemon tree,” says Leonie, who likes the more unusual additions, such as sculptural kalanchoes and the handsome leopard tree.
The mixture of plants, coupled with the garden’s curves and angles, makes it visually playful. James has used an array of materials for the paving and walls to create an interconnected look. The balance lies in the earthy tones of the sandstone, pebbles, rusted steel, recycled bricks and hardwood timber creating a sense of cohesion. This palette echoes the trunks of the nearby trees that resided here before this garden began.
Leonie and John are extremely happy with the result and believe that Leonie’s mother - and that little girl on holiday years ago - would be just as pleased. Find out more about James’s work at pangkarra.com.au. Get in touch with the contractor Andrew Noble on 0401 873 767.
The vegie patch (top left & right) is a family favourite for adding colour and flavour to meals. Out the front, a washed concrete driveway is a minimalist choice. The driveway (above) is bordered by a spray of silver Kalanchoe hildebrandtii and grassy plumes of Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘ Nafray’ beside Crinum pedunculatum swamp lily. A Grevillea ‘Moonlight’ tree softens the wall, creeping up to the balcony.