Peter Shaw · Sunnymeade

Gardens

You’d expect a couple of landscape designers to have one seriously impressive garden of their own. The coastal garden of Peter and Simone Shaw of  certainly lives up to expectation!

This talented duo combine creativity and pragmatism at Sunnymeade, their rambling Anglesea property. They’re realistic when it comes to favouring plants they know will survive, but are also willing to put in the extra effort to maintain some uniquely artistic elements.

Our gardens columnist, Georgina Reid of , chats with the Shaw family about the 15-year transformation of their property.

30th May, 2017

Framed by the incredible beauty of the old stringybark trees, Peter and Simone Shaw’s garden in Anglesea is dominated by a couple of magnificent stringybark trees (Eucalyptus obliqua). Photo – for Btslive.

A low water bowl surrounded by washed out timber stools forms one of the many nooks within the garden. ‘I’ve pulled a lot out since the photos were taken,’ Peter tells. ‘I’m about to plant more of what’s working: the clipped, rounded shapes as they seem to look right for the setting. I like the way they contrast with the wild gums and grasses, standing out, but not too much.’ Photo – for Btslive.

Peter Shaw in his Anglesea garden Sunnymeade. Together with his wife Simone, he runs  – a landscape design and construction business specialising in creating environmentally sensitive residential gardens. Photo –  for Btslive.

The mounded lawn (planted with buffalo grass) is a recent addition to the garden. Photo – for Btslive.

‘There’s a lot going on in our garden,’ Peter tells me. ‘There are so many things to look at. Whilst it’s soothing, it’s also a bit overwhelming sometimes.’ Photo – for Btslive.

The stringbark trees are the perfect size and shape for serious tree house construction! Photo – for Btslive.

Peter likes the way the clipped forms of the coastal rosemary (Westringia spp) and germander (Teucrium fruticans) contrast with the twisted branches of the stringybark trees, as well as the looseness of the grasses (Poa spp, and Lomandra spp.). Photo – for Btslive.

Strawberry plants in the Shaw family garden. Photo – for Btslive.

An incredibly organised wood pile! Photo – for Btslive.

Peter Shaw and his red cattle dog, Ruby. Photo – for Btslive.

Georgina Reid
Tuesday 30th May 2017

One day around 15 years ago, Peter Shaw and his wife Simone were walking the streets of Anglesea, a small town on the Surf Coast of Victoria. With one child in the pram and another on the way, the pair decided they were ready to put down roots. They stopped in front of a house block with a fallen down ‘For Sale’ sign, and a cluster of incredible old stringy bark trees in the front yard. They climbed the biggest of the trees, and decided then and there that they’d found their home.

Two more children and many years later, the Shaw family lives in a weathered timber house right down the back of the block, and the stringybarks (Eucalyptus obliqua) take pride of place in an incredibly beautiful and sculptural front yard. The house and garden have evolved over the years to both reflect and shelter the Shaw family as they, too, have grown.

Peter and Simone are in the business of gardens. They run – a landscape design and construction business specialising in creating environmentally sensitive residential gardens. Their home garden embodies this approach. It’s a gentle, sculptural, and grounded space with a strong connection to the coastal bush landscape around it.

Landscape architects Jim Sinatra and Phin Murphy of were originally engaged to do a concept plan for the garden. ‘They came out for the day, did all the design on the ground, then went away and sent back a basic concept plan the following day,’ Peter tells me. ‘We started off with their plan but it’s nothing like what we ended up with now, which is the way it goes.

Under the guiding hand of the Sinatra Murphy concept plan, Peter and Simone have tinkered on the garden for many years. Some things have stayed the same, like the meandering pathway to the entrance of the house, and the living screen forming an axis through the front garden, and others have changed – particularly the incredible sculptural lawn.

The lawn is a relatively recent addition, and a real family effort. Everyone – from Peter and Simone’s children, staff members and friends – had opinions on how it should look, according to Peter. Eventually they decided on a design and the family got building. ‘It was lovely having the kids with rakes and tools helping to sculpt and shape the lawn,’ Peter says.

I wonder about the maintenance involved in keeping such a sculpted lawn looking sculptural. Peter reckons it’s not too bad. ‘We mow it with a whipper snipper. It’s a bit more work than a normal lawn but that’s the thing about art – you have to be committed to it,’ he says.

The plants surrounding the lawn and trees are the toughest of the tough. They’re mostly native species like westringia, lomandra, tussock grass and others. ‘They may not be the most exciting plants, but they’re survivors,’ Peter tells me. ‘To get anything to grow under the gums is almost impossible because it’s dry and shady.’

‘Around 90 per cent of the plants I’ve used in the garden are bulletproof. The rest are a bit more experimental.’

Framed by the incredible beauty of the old stringybark trees, this garden is sensitive, grounded and incredibly beautiful. It’s watched over Peter and Simone’s growing family as they’ve built tree houses, played games, and more. It’ll be the backdrop, and also the stage, of much, much more of the Shaw family’s evolution and growth.

Similar Stories

Gardens

The Garden Of A Lifetime

The gentle transformation of a Brisbane garden that's been held within one family for three generations.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A New Way To Experience The Garden Of St Erth

The Diggers Club's rambling open garden in Blackwood, just outside Melbourne, now offers glamping!
Georgina Reid

Roundup

Our Favourite Gardens of 2018

A look back through the most popular gardens we featured in 2018.

This Week

News

Local Artists And Designers Feature At This Brunswick East Craft Fete

Bringing back the neighbourhood vibe at this FREE one-day community event!

News

The Great Australian Motel Experience With Tim Ross And Kit Warhurst

Take a trip down memory lane and through nostalgic 1970s motel holiday memories.
Sally Tabart
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Textile Designer Bonnie Ashley

We talk small business, international expansion, dealing with copycats and much more, in this cheerful chat with Bonnie Ashley of Bonnie and...
Lucy Feagins
  20 hours ago

TDF Collect

Announcing Our Next Exhibition, Katie Daniels' 'Unfolding Light'

Introducing a brand new artist for our first TDF Collect art exhibition of 2019! Melbourne painter Katie Daniels is one to watch.

Exhibition

A Mid-Century Mash-Up Exhibition At Saint Cloche

The ‘MCM’ exhibition combines the stunning work of Natalie Rosin and Emma Lipscombe in Sydney.
Miriam McGarry
2:13

Fundraiser

Mirka For Melbourne!

Our urgent fundraiser to keep Mirka Mora's magic alive, with support from Lisa Gorman, Beci Orpin, Guy Grossi, Julia Zemiro and more – joi...
Lucy Feagins
  4 hours ago

News

Swapping Fashion For Art With Holly Ryan

The popular Sydney-based jeweller explores her emerging sculpture practice in her second solo show at Jerico Contemporary.
Sally Tabart

Studio Visit

Embracing The Mistakes With Ceramicist Hana Vasak

We take a look inside the sun-drenched Northcote studio of the emerging maker behind Dáša Ceramics and chat about learning, growing, and n...

Interiors

Karen McCartney's Dreamy, Rustic French Farmhouse

A dream European outpost for two of Australia’s most respected design aficionados! (And yes, it's available for holiday rental).

Food

Charlotte Ree's Peach And Raspberry Tray Cake

Charlotte Ree's go-to for unexpected afternoon tea guests!
Charlotte Ree

Interiors

This Art Deco Gem Is On The Market

Lucy Glade-Wright of Hunting for George shares her beloved Armadale apartment, now up for sale.

Small Business

How Can Your Business Give Back?

Steps you can take to make a positive impact through your workplace, with sage advice from the legends at Who Gives A Crap.
Fiona Killackey

Every Painting Tells A Story

Demystifying The Tragic Symbolism In This Painting From 1888

Illuminating the drama and tragedy of 'The Lady Of Shalott', now on view at the National Gallery of Australia.

Homes

A Serene Treetop Home In Noosa

The relaxed, beachfront home of Melissa Ambrosini, her husband Nick Broadhurst, and 13-year-old Leo.

Architecture

A Brazilian Modernism-Inspired Masterpiece, In Queensland

Architect Shaun Lockyer introduces South American flair to the typical Queenslander typology.
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Gardens

The Garden Of A Lifetime

The gentle transformation of a Brisbane garden that's been held within one family for three generations.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A New Way To Experience The Garden Of St Erth

The Diggers Club's rambling open garden in Blackwood, just outside Melbourne, now offers glamping!
Georgina Reid

Roundup

Our Favourite Gardens of 2018

A look back through the most popular gardens we featured in 2018.
220km.net

https://topobzor.info

www.mitsubishi.niko.ua