Here there is a feeling of wandering and relaxing, of stepping out of time, which is rarely experienced in a suburban garden. Kathy and Ken live on a sloping fan-shaped block above the Yarra parklands with wide views, tranquility and much birdlife – even the odd kangaroo. The sloping ground gives good drainage, so the front area near the road is hot and dry. The return driveway allows large boulders to act as shoulders for plants to lean over. Acacia glaucoptera sprawls over the huge rocks in a blanket of yellow. Dampiera linearis is colonising along the street with a rich show of blue. Darwinia and other WA species enjoy this area. A pathway to the porch winds through bushes, some more recently planted since the huge heritage Oak died. This open area now has maturing shrubs and is being replanted with understorey. A mallee, Eucalyptus woodwardii hybrid with bunches of large fluffy yellow flowers and silver green foliage and stems, marks the entrance path, with Hardenbergia ‘Mini Ha Ha’ draped with purple flowers near its feet. Near the porch, 2 large flat mudstone steps give an air of grand welcome, with another defining the path around to the side. The back garden has the parkland backdrop and a 2 metre drop to the roadway, so the planting is for screening and merging. Two Eucalyptus leucoxylon rosea help meld it into the view with a thriving Eremophila nivea a feature. Eucalyptus citriodora defines the end section with its shady seating area and scented and relaxing plants. At the other end is a large pond where local ducks fly in and Grevilleas offer food for small birds. Fences enclose the northern garden area with vegetables and fruit trees and an amphitheatre on 2 levels paved in Castlemaine slate. There a delicious afternoon tea awaited us under a large umbrella with Kathy’s fresh scones and her famous ginger cake, a real treat. Thanks Kathy! We were delighted to see this garden, now barely 15 years old, while Kathy and Ken are in the process of refurbishing it.
Report by Merele Webb (who was the designer of the garden).