Clive Abben, Rye

2022:  7 Douglas Ct. Rye

Open Date
12 & 13 Nov. 2022
Garden Entry

Open 10:00 to 5:00


Clive and Natalie started working on this garden about 12 years ago and it has been an ongoing project since then. The object of the design was to create a garden that was sympathetic to its environment on the Mornington Peninsula and to create a place of peace, tranquility and refuge for a client with a demanding life in Melbourne. The garden needed to be understated but with strong visual features where every feature had a purpose and was visually strong. The planting is predominately native/indigenous with exotic herbs near the Pizza oven.

The garden is on a relatively steep site and so we created terracing with 3 distinct layers. The first is the access area with car port and parking. Dry stone walls separate the lower and middle layer with stone steps and ramp leading to the second level which has a pool, outdoor kitchen area and covered seating area. The Pizza oven was built by a local artisan and is visually striking. It is now shielded from the lower area with one of the largest Rosemary plants that I have ever seen! The table and seats are made from timber reclaimed from the Melbourne docks and the pool is designed to have a billabong feel, nestling into the landscape.

Stone steps lead to the upper deck area which has an outdoor shower with a coffee servery and seating area next to it. This are captures the morning sun and the seating area has a Coastal Beard Heath (Leucopogon parviflorus) growing through it. The other side of the deck has a new pergola which is for both relaxation and an outdoor work area.

Each area is quite distinct. Seen from below the dry-stone walls are a dominant feature whilst when looking from the upper deck you can hardly see the walls and the native planting is the main feature.

Screens have been used throughout the garden as both sculptural features as well as for shielding the view to neighbors, creating the feeling of a private, secluded compound.