Gar­den guru Richard Unsworth keeps on grow­ing

The tree of life is abun­dant and thriv­ing in this gar­dener’s world

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Words Catherine Nikas-Bou­los Pic­tures Troy Snook More gar­den­

Life and work is bloom­ing for Richard Unsworth, who is one half of the award­win­ning gar­den de­sign, supply and in­stal­la­tion business, Gar­den Life in St Peters.s. With more than 20 years in the gar­den­ing game, the land­scape de­signer, who is from York­shire in the UK, came to these shores in 1992, and hasn’t looked back.

“I cer­tainly class my­self as an Aus­tralian,” he says. “It’s my home, and the re­los have fi­nally stopped ask­ing if I am com­ing back.”

Luck­ily, there is plenty of room for the fam­ily to visit Richard in­stead. Richard and his part­ner Greg lov­ingly ren­o­vated a Padding­ton ter­race about six years ago. They y bought the ter­race in a half-ren­o­vated con­di­tion, un­de­terred by the work that wouldd have to go into fin­ish­ing the job.

“It looked like the peo­ple who had it be­forere us started ren­o­vat­ing, then de­cided not to fin­ish it,” he says. “There were no win­dows and doors up­stairs, but it had a brand new kitchen and great new bath­room.

“We were happy to buy the placece and fin­ish it. We wanted to stay in Padding­ton,n, we adore it here, and this was a good od buy. Plus, we have two spare roomss for the rel­a­tives when they visit us.”

Richard has kept the colour pal­ette ette quite neu­tral, al­low­ing the art, plants andd ac­ces­sories to com­ple­ment the old ter­race.

“We wanted a neu­tral look so you ou can drop any­thing in there and it would work,”k,” he says. “I am big fan of mix­ing vin­tage withh con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture.”

The ter­race is also fit­ted with in­ter­est­ing ter­est­ing finds from Morocco to Sri Lanka andnd Tur­key, among oth­ers, where Richard trav­elsels to source prod­uct for his store.

John Coburn tapestry The tree of life works for me on a few dif­fer­ent lev­els. It’s about feel­ing ful­filled and be­ing grate­ful for ev­ery­thing that is pro­vided.

Ele­phant I bought this at a flea mar­ket when I was s about 13. I have al­ways had a fas­ci­na­tion for ele­phants. I went nt to Botswana this year and saw them in their nat­u­ral habi­tat.

Vic­tori­nox knife I don’t have loads of good knives, but I have one that I trea­sure. I like to use this knife when I am prep­ping din­ner.

Kalan­choe be­haren­sis leaf This is ba­si­cally my favourite plant, and I have one in my front gar­den. It has such lovely form but it’s quite tough.

Chop­ping board This board re­minds me of a field of corn crop rows. I love to have beau­ti­ful things around me when I am in the kitchen. My other pas­sion is def­i­nitely food.

Se­ca­teursSe­cate This is my favourite pair. They’re nicely crafted and I like that they have used wood in the han­dles. They’re warm and com­fort­able to use.

Serv­ing bowl I found this in Mar­rakesh and brought it back for the store. It re­minds me of my time there and of some­thing hand­made in a sim­ple way.

Corner­smith book I love Corner­smith, they have a cou­ple of cafes and they make real, good food. They are en­sur­ing the next gen­er­a­tion knows how to make stuff.

Bookends These beau­ti­ful bookends are by lo­cal Syd­ney de­signer Henry Wil­son. They’re so mod­ern, but they are also a nice and heavy ob­ject.

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