A Lush Heritage Garden in Sydney

Gardens

Today our gardens columnist, Georgina Reid of , takes us through a lush heritage garden in Sydney.

Designed around 20 years ago, it has been re-invigorated by Sydney-based landscape designer . He’s embarked on a considerate update, with a little ‘chainsaw gardening’ to make way for the new!

4th July, 2017
Georgina Reid
Tuesday 4th July 2017

‘The most important thing with beautiful old gardens like this is to be considerate of and sensitive to the overall fabric of the space’

Sydney-based landscape designer  reckons some gardens just need a nip and tuck – a tightening up and a smoothing out  rather than a complete overhaul. This heritage beauty in Sydney’s northern suburbs is one such example. ‘The most important thing with beautiful old gardens like this is to be considerate of and sensitive to the overall fabric of the space,’ he tells me.

Michael was approached by the garden owners a couple of years ago to help them create a sense of order within the space. They’re very keen gardeners and have been living at the property for many years. The garden had been designed around 20 years ago, and needed re-invigoration, simplification and a few structural tweaks to make it more functional.

First up was the front entry. A series of gravel courts in the front garden and a lack of a clearly defined entry pathway meant that visitors often ended up knocking on the bedroom door, rather than the front door! Michael and his team designed a wide sandstone pathway, winding around an existing weeping cherry tree, and leading visitors directly and clearly to the front door.

Simplification of some of the existing planting was also on the cards. ‘The owners of this garden are collectors,’ Michael tells me. ‘They absolutely love growing plants. Quite often we come across collectors as clients and I see our job as designers of these gardens to assist our clients in turning a collection into a cohesive arrangement.’

Michael and his team achieved cohesion by transplanting some shrubs from the front area into other parts of the garden, and simplifying the layers of planting in the space. They also built a series of low sandstone lawn terraces, to create a sense of repetition throughout the space. Working around the existing mature trees was a challenge – ‘We stitched the terraces into the garden very carefully, being very mindful of the roots of the magnificent old Magnolia soulangeana,’ Michael says. ‘Some of the stone walls had to be re-arranged around roots we found, so as to not damage the integrity of tree.’

Working with committed gardeners is a dream for most landscape designers. Having engaged clients means that a garden will be tended, loved, and most importantly, understood. Gardeners understand that gardens take time, that some plants just die no matter what you do, and that sometimes you’ve got to practice tough love.  ‘A bit of chainsaw gardening was required,’ says Michael. ‘We needed to work out what key elements needed to remain, and what things should go, in order to regenerate the garden, create new layers of planting, and let more light into the lower stories.’

A loved garden like this one is like a family heirloom. It’s a treasure handed down from one generation to the next and the next. Guided by the sensitive hand of designer Michael Bates, this gem will continue quietly blooming for many years to come. ‘I’d like to think that when we were finished it was hard to discern where we’d been and where we hadn’t,’ Michael says.

Similar Stories

Gardens

Visit The Secret Gardens of the Dandenongs This Week

Visit Victoria's most breathtaking private gardens, over two weeks this month.

Gardens

An Industrial Wasteland Turned Plant Paradise

A tour of Andrea Fitzpatrick's lush city plant shop, Botanick Brisbane.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A Grand Yet Intimate Garden In The Blue Mountains

Tour Wildenstein Garden, a rambling 12-acre property in the Blue Mountains town of Mount Wilson.
Georgina Reid

This Week

Small Business

How-To Network For Small Business · Creative Mornings

Two of the best professional development gurus we know share their tips on making connections to benefit your biz.
Fiona Killackey

Interiors

A Virtual Visit Of Como By Design

Explore the crème-de-la-crème of Melbourne’s creative community in an iconic location.

In Print

The Dogs Who Live In Some Of Australia's Most Magnificent Homes!

Photographer Nicole England's first book, Resident Dog, is a 'pet project' we can get behind!
Elle Murrell
  19 hours ago

Art

Meet The Master Bark Painter From Maningrida

A major survey of John Mawurndjul's incredible work opens this weekend.
Elle Murrell

News

Revived Furniture By Four Australian Creatives Up For Auction!

Feast Watson invite some of Australia’s top creatives to restore furniture pieces in their own unique style, for a good cause.
Sally Tabart

Modernist Australia

Robin Boyd's Brigford House Goes Under The Hammer

An exceptional 1950s home by Australian architecture legend Robin Boyd. It's a beauty, it's in Melbourne, AND it's up for auction this Satur...
Patricia Callan and Pete Bakacs

Work Space

Brutalism At Work With Clare Cousins Architects

Step inside the cleverly renovated headquarters of Clare Cousins Architects in North Melbourne.
Lucy Feagins

Food

Herbed Roast Chicken + Potatoes With Spinach Sauce

Winner winner chicken dinner! A fuss-free roast chicken recipe, sure to win over family and friends.
Cassie Lucas
  21 hours ago

News

Don’t Miss This Brilliant Opportunity To Buy Contemporary Indigenous Art

The Tarnanthi Art Fair returns this weekend, providing a unique opportunity to view and purchase art directly from Aboriginal and Torres S...
Sponsored

Architecture

The Anti-McMansion House

David Boyle Architect reacts against the generic with this poetic family home in Sydney.

Homes

A Home Designed From The Outside In

An ode to the Australian landscape, in the Wattle Glen home of landscape designer Sam Cox.
Lucy Feagins
  5 hours ago

Fashion

Your First Look At The New Mirka Mora X Gorman Collaboration

Don't miss your chance to own a wearable piece inspired by one of Australia's greatest artists – the late, great Mirka Mora.
35:30

Podcast

TDF Talks With Stylist + Art Director, Stephanie Stamatis

One of Melbourne’s most talented stylists (and THE OG Instagram influencer!) talks transitioning from interior design to styling and art d...

News

Klaylife Open The Doors To Their First-Ever Showroom

Visit the father-daughter duo’s new location this weekend and receive a $200 lighting voucher!
Sponsored

News

When The Tomatoes Are Ready

Beat’s weekly food columnist Georgia Spanos explores her Italian heritage through this sentimental book of recipes and family history....
Sally Tabart

Similar Stories

Gardens

Visit The Secret Gardens of the Dandenongs This Week

Visit Victoria's most breathtaking private gardens, over two weeks this month.

Gardens

An Industrial Wasteland Turned Plant Paradise

A tour of Andrea Fitzpatrick's lush city plant shop, Botanick Brisbane.
Georgina Reid

Gardens

A Grand Yet Intimate Garden In The Blue Mountains

Tour Wildenstein Garden, a rambling 12-acre property in the Blue Mountains town of Mount Wilson.
Georgina Reid
www.alfaakb.com

best-cooler.reviews

www.fashioncarpet.com.ua