210 Were Street, Brighton East (2016)
Note: This garden was opened in 2016
Welcome to Mark and Lorraine’s garden, the property dating from 1930 was purchased back in 2004, with Lorraine falling in love with the street appeal of the house and Mark with the landscaping potential the garden offered.
The presence of at least one mature tree on site was one of Mark’s prerequisites, three established trees on this quarter acre block was therefore a bonus. For many this house block would not have been ideal, with a wide street frontage and lacking depth. However, on the plus side it did offer a huge north facing front garden with abundant afternoon shade, due to the existing mature trees. The south facing rear courtyard was also perfect for entertaining on hot summer days.
Within the first three months, Mark put his landscaping plans into action. The garden was to be split into two distinct areas each with a separate theme. To the front a cottage garden style with a formal pond, in keeping with the front façade of the house and a Mediterranean sun-filled courtyard with spa to the rear.
The front garden had some major issues; sloping to the street therefore meant the useful space covered a smaller area and the retaining wall abutting the street was unsecure. The garden itself had been neglected for many years, lawns were non-existent, with few plants and shrubbery worth saving. First, the sloping land was rectified and supported with small retaining walls and the front boundary wall completely replaced with more significant supporting foundations. The hard landscaping was complimented with an exposed aggregate and bluestone driveway. The front garden was completed with an entertaining area accommodating a large formal pond, after Mark inherited a beloved statement bronze statue from an old friend. The entertaining area is complimented with bluestone crazy paving with edging of second hand red bricks, which also form the fish pond.
For year round privacy, a hedge of Juniperus Chinensis ‘Spartan’ was planted along the front boundary, which also softens the front boundary fencing. Planting in the front garden is consistent with a cottage garden style, ensuring plenty of spring and early summer interest and includes a multitude of bulbs and perennials. Soil suitability also had to be taken into consideration; natives were included under the established spruce, where ground is drier and conditions are hotter in late afternoon.
The rear garden, measuring 21 metres long by 6 metres wide was completely devoid of vegetation at the time of purchase. It has since been laid out as a Mediterranean courtyard with a central paved entertaining space. To the west end a formal pond with a Zimbabwean “Shona” stone art centrepiece depicting “the family” provides the focal point. Although planted only ten years ago the backbone of Italian cypresses and olives have grown fantastically to create a sense of privacy and seclusion. The middle storey planting contrasts with a hot colour scheme of red’s and orange’s. Camellias and Strelitzeas, many rescued off other work sites, the under storey is infilled with Cliveas, Pink Anemone, Lychnis and Alstroemerias. While in its infancy, this courtyard is still subject to Mark’s creativity, with the addition of a small pergola to the rear of the house within the last six months, to be complimented with an ornamental grape vine.