Portfolio: Garden Design Ashfield

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This garden was in the making for only a few days, the plants went in on a very hot day last week but overall it felt very streamlined and easy to build and I have surprised even myself with the transformation! In the image below you can see what it looked like in November…


The clients brief was for a minimalist garden with a naturalistic feel, she did not want it over planted, but wanted to see the shapes and forms of the plants, she also wanted grass trees and grasses. In her words:

“I’d like to include (minimalist) plantings of banksia trees, grasstrees, and bottle brush with compacted earth/fine crushed stone to avoid any turf.”

A dream job for me 😉


I retained 3 of the existing Callistemon ‘Little John’ seen on the left in the image above, they have interesting shapes and were flowering profusely so I gave them 3 friends.



The plants are all planted at a fair distance apart so that it will not appear cluttered and no pruning will be necessary, as I used compact varieties like Banksia ‘Coastal Cushions’, Chrysocephalum ‘Pearly Buttons’ and Lomandra ‘Little Lime’.



I have used three Eucalyptus wimmerensis ‘Tuckertime HoneyPots’ as small feature mallee style trees. These will create a light canopy over 30% of the garden. The garden is west facing and at the top of a hill so is quite hot and exposed to wind.


The sandstone boulders give some height and interest in the garden as it is a very flat and empty space, as the shrubs grow up into their mounding habits they will contrast with the sandstone nicely.


Of course the grass trees are the main feature, we were so lucky to find them, for some reason there seems to be a lack of interesting Xanthorrhoea on the market at the moment. The client wanted grass trees with character, which is how I like them also. As we couldn’t locate any double headers we ended up getting two pots where there were two trunks fused at the base, I am happy with these especially with the granite laid between the bases t show off their colour.


The big guy near the front door is named ‘Etienne’ and even came with a perfect blood bubble, which fascinates me.



The clients love their new garden, they too can see beyond the first impression of a ‘desert-scape’ and are enjoying being the odd ones out on the street.


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