17 Moorhouse St. Armadale
What does a designer do when the client has dreams of a very private city garden, only to discover that the adjoining property, which they have just purchased to create their back garden oasis, will be overlooked and dominated by a large development on a neighbour’s property? And, to make matters more difficult, there is only a matter of weeks to solve the problem.
Solution: quickly try to find some established trees that will screen out the neighbour’s building. Fortunately, 10 year old Ficus hillii and Cupaniopsis anarcardioides were found that were about 5 metres high, growing in 1000 litre containers and ready to plant.
Access to the site was only for a very limited time, so it was imperative to get the mature trees into the ground quickly before the building works commenced and therefore eliminating any possibility of ever planting established trees. This work was undertaken even before the final design of the garden had been resolved. The design of the back garden would now be very much influenced by the large trees that had been hurriedly selected and planted.
Not only were the new trees doing a fine job of screening, they had also created a shady microclimate in what had otherwise been a very exposed and sunny site and they were now giving a structure on which to build the rest of the garden.
The large trees were positioned on site to ensure that they afforded the best possible, immediate screening and then the layout of the back garden was also determined on site to achieve the following criteria:
To provide summer shade and winter sun to different areas of the garden
To create functional and attractive spaces within the garden for the family, including: hard paved outdoor living areas and access pathways; play spaces for grandchildren including ‘totems’ for each one of the grandchildren; adequate seating; adequate lighting to enhance the garden and living areas at night
To create a lush and full garden with interest and diversity for every season of the year
To create a relaxed, informal garden with gentle curvilinear lines and plantings that will conceal the boundaries, thereby creating a sense of scale with diversity of texture and form
To collaborate with the clients and architects to blend with, and enhance, the dramatic and unique character of the buildings designed by Inarc Architects. The large windows in every room of the home provided uninterrupted views into the garden which then almost appeared as large paintings on the walls which changed with the seasons and the times of the day