This garden was finished yesterday (Hoooray!) except for three plants I am still waiting for to complete the front, then it will be something else front and back. This small terrace was renovated a year ago and after a much protracted waiting period for clean up we were able to start work on the garden last month. This is what it looked like back in November 2013.
And this is how it looks now. Don’t you love before and after photos?
The brief for this garden was to firstly retain the mature Magnolia whilst creating a garden with lots of greenery preferably of the edible variety, the owner is a very creative individual and great cook, it is her purple studio you can see down the back.
The space is very small and the intent was to create a garden as opposed to a courtyard, somewhere that you can go and fossick and fiddle about, observe how things are growing and interact with the plants.
I used crushed decomposed granite Deco Gold as the main surface with re-cycled concrete as the steppers, we also installed two sawn sandstone logs as seats, one under the shade of the Magnolia for Summer contemplation and the other near the deck for winter sun soaking. Seen below in the background.
There is a small pond in front of the studio for fish and frogs which was planted out with Dianella ‘Little Jess’ for the purple edible berries and Alpinia arundelliana, which has edible, flowers, berries and new shoots. Other native bush food plants used are a hedge of Syzygium ‘Resilience’ (which has delicious berries, seen below), a native grafted Citrus australasica ‘Rainforest Pearl’, Davidson’s plum, plenty of Austromyrtus dulcis (Midyim Berry) and Viola hederacea of which you can eat the flowers.
Other favourites of mine in the garden are low growing Banksia ‘Coastal Cushions’ and Acacia ‘Fettuccini’, these will fill out the space nicely with their dense mounding habit and contrasting foilage.
This garden was a pleasure to build partly because the client is so open minded and lovely and also because the hard materials used were so easy to work with. I loved tamping the decomposed granite even in the heat, and am so glad that I finally got to try using re-cycled concrete in a design. This is a highly recyclable material that is under utilised in gardens and there is so much of it around.
Seeing this space transformed over the last month has made me re-think a lot about space, how much space do you really need to grow what you would like? I know that my dream of having a large garden has been contradicted by the fact that I don’t have enough time to look after a 700m2 space, a small garden like this would be far more suitable for me in my current time poor position!
We even managed to squeeze in a Grevillea ‘Misty Pink’ for year round flowers and bird attracting 😉