123 Neale Street, Flora Hill (2016)
Note: This garden was opened in 2016
Our garden is an example of what can be achieved in suburbia over time with hard work, lots of imagination and a very small budget!
The house was built in 1956 by my grandparents. Pop had a huge veggie plot where our living room now stands and chooks roamed freely at the rear of the yard. Because of their efforts, the soil was rich and productive and we’ve continued to top up planting areas with soil from our ample compost heap.
The planting scheme is a mismash of plants that have been grown mainly from seed or cuttings – Japanese maples, native frangipani, English box, salvia and succulents. The standard holly trees in the back corner were growing in a crack in the path at the front of the house…probably bird droppings from the original tree in the front garden that was removed to make way for the new design.
Olives and citrus trees also feature throughout and we’ve had great success with herbs planted under the carport, close to the kitchen.
Gardening here has been a fantastic learning curve, one that has led me to establishing my garden design business and to being absolutely passionate about plants, many of which have been tried and tested here. With a very hectic lifestyle, if they don’t perform, they’re out!
The recent drought brought about my love of succulents – aeonium zwartkop with their near black, plate like flowers, blue chalk sticks (senecio serpens) filling spaces almost overnight and graptopetalum paraguayense whose leaves drop off and start growing, without soil, on the pavers!
The house and garden have undergone many renovations over the years evolving around our family, a home office and sculpture studio/gallery. Pop’s handmade clothes line is still a feature!
Our carport doubles as a workshop where Barry McLoughlan and I (Wired for Living) create our sculptural pieces. Our work is featured throughout the garden.
With massed planting almost eliminating weeds, trees shading and cooling the garden and the informality of the design, we have created a very low maintenance garden with its own mini eco system where we and the local wildlife can relax and enjoy life.