Phillip Johnson, Kilsyth

2/232 Cambridge Rd. Kilsyth (2016)

Open Date
12-13 Nov. 2016
Garden Entry

Note: This garden was opened in 2016

Phillip Johnson – a multi award winning landscape designer who won Gold Medal and ‘Best in Show’ at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 created this landscape over ten years ago.  It’s hard to believe this garden was a mainly flat space of lawn and pine trees, the lawn was badly affected by drought and was dying with pine trees dominating the landscape.

This garden was designed around our principles of creating thriving habitats that overflow with native and indigenous plants. We aimed to create a private area for the owners using water, plants and layers of vegetation with the ultimate outcome being a calming, relaxing and tranquil space.

The landscape was designed to bring nature to the property, incorporating plants that attract various species of birds and other wildlife, and most importantly the billabongs were to provide a wonderful habitat for a range of frog species.

These two large billabongs; one at the front and one at the rear of the property are most definitely what makes this the soul of the landscape. Indigenous plants were mainly used plus Water lilies were a desired feature of the clients for the garden, these plants help to maintain healthy water quality and ecosystem for the frogs, dragonflies and many bird species.

These systems are also fully sustainable in terms of water use as all the water is collected from the roof and the downpipes were re-plumbed. The roof catchment was split in half with half going to the front billabong and the other half going to the rear billabong and rainwater tank. This means when it rains the water creates natural waterfalls and therefore the movement of water is not always reliant on the pumps that are in place. Both of the billabongs overflow to the dry creek and the driveway run off was also redirected to the dry creek, this assists in slowing down storm water from exiting the site. This movement of water ensures a thriving healthy eco-system and therefore no mosquitos.

The billabongs are designed for viewing from within the house as well as from outside, this has the effect of bringing the landscape into the home.  Water flow runs ‘inwards’ and you can feel how that transforms the entire space into an energizing environment.

As you walk through the garden we have strategically placed stone throughout to guide you through the environment and to provide areas for sitting, reflecting and connecting with nature.  Australian native plants were planted throughout the garden, with consideration to form, foliage and flower colour.  More plants were used with various considerations to location such as high water use, well draining soil or boggy soils were zoned together.  By maintaining the areas in this way it meant that areas needing irrigating at times such as vegetables and existing exotics could be watered efficiently.

The ultimate outcome in this garden was to create a very calming, tranquil space for reflection and meditation within a created natural landscape.