Jackie McWilliam, Hawthorn East

2022:  41 Currajong Rd. Hawthorn East

Open Date
12 & 13 Nov 2022
Garden Entry

Open 10:00 to 5:00


Created in 2018, this garden was the product of a joyous collaboration between the owners (an architect and builder), their landscape designer cousin and the landscape construction team.

The front garden is formal in layout, in keeping with the Victorian home.  An elegant cloud pruned camellia at its centre is framed by Dichondra lawns, a bay hedge, lush greenery and plants that flower all year round.  The back garden is much less formal, complementing the modern extension, with a hardy sun-loving Romneya coulteri and wavy grasses that catch the light and contrast with other plants that provide form and structure.

Several layouts were considered for the front garden.  The final one was inspired by the existing narrow crushed gravel path built by the owners, with its red brick inset diamond shapes, and by historic MMBW plans of the local area showing houses of this era and size typically having formal garden bed and path layouts.

Daphne, camellias, hydrangeas and Mother’s Love roses were incorporated into the design, as these plants were of significance having been in the architect owner’s and designer’s mothers’ and grandmother’s gardens.  The freesia bulbs planted here were descendants of those in the designer’s and owner’s grandmother’s garden!  The garden also features a graceful Mutabilis rose hedge, Anna’s Red Hellebores and foxtail ferns.

Masses of white Japanese windflowers line the driveway beneath narrow, upright-growing Malus trilobatas, whose leaves turn rich deep reds, chocolates and oranges in autumn.  A pink flowering evergreen Apple Blossom Clematis and a Pierre de Ronsard rose overhead provide a focal point when you look down the drive.

Previously, the back garden had been very rectangular in design, was bare in winter and had unattractive double gates that were no longer used.  The Chanticleer pear trees around the perimeter and the paving and raised garden beds alongside the pool were to be retained, but everything else was removed.

New decking was built, with platform steps to add interest, and an attractive barbeque area was created with a steel pergola and vine to provide shade from the late afternoon sun.  The owner built the clever metal pot plant frame behind the barbeque, and rusty steel planters were installed below, for edible herbs.  The pear and new pistachio trees provide vibrant colour in autumn along with the vine on the pergola. At the bottom of the garden, a Peppercorn tree (a request of the owners) stands where the gate had been.

The much-loved garden has continued to flourish under the care of Danny Petrzilka.  Whilst the owners welcome the freesias that have escaped across the front garden, the Dichondra lawns do not agree!  The Dichondra grows very enthusiastically at certain times of the year and weeds need to be kept in check.  The barbeque area vine is still being trained to behave and the feature grasses nearby require significant annual pruning or division.  The possums continue to compete for the pears and pistachios, but thankfully Aggie the family dog no longer digs in the bed alongside the pool fence!