Mark Bickerdike, Buninyong (1)

601 Cornish St. Buninyong (2018)


Note: This garden was opened in 2018

This front garden is part of a family home, owned and occupied by its designer who has through his passion for gardening created a private sanctuary.

The roots of the garden aesthetic lay firmly in the wabi sabi style, with an emphasis on simplicity and raw beauty. In this garden, elements of practicality are designed to enhance, through texture and contrast, the experience of the user. The pathway becomes a journey of discovery, the use of hedges and screening further support this feeling through concealment. Nothing simply presents itself in this garden, it must be explored.

Garden entry

At the entry to the garden is a lazer cut weathering steel arbour where the light shines through the Japanese maple leaf design, casting shadows onto the pathways.

The Japanese inspired ‘nobedan’ pathways evoke the traditional timeless feel of ancient tea gardens while creating a strong contemporary statement through the inclusion of bespoke honed concrete and floating steps.

Swathes of soft mondo are set off by the textures of gravels and monumental shards of rock from which the paving has been crafted. Tightly clipped buxus hedges layered by pleached olives are accented by variations in plant foliage.

Spacious feel

The pendulous branches of the established melaleuca trees create a shady environment under which the lush ferns thrive.  An open lawn area gives this relatively small garden a spacious and practical feel. Unlike many front gardens, this garden has both privacy and practical areas for sitting.  In the sitting area a bespoke polished concrete table set on split basalt base sits centre stage.

This intentional juxtaposition of contrasting elements reinforces the wabi sabi concept presenting the raw materials, crafted by hand, to develop something of refinement and practical use throughout the whole garden.

This garden is a good example of how a designer can use space well and create depth through a back drop of layered hedges and planting within such a small space.