15 Riverside Rd. Ivanhoe (2016)
Note: This garden was opened in 2016
One of the great privileges of being a garden designer are the many wonderful opportunities and challenges that are given to you to transform landscapes and to create places of beauty and inspiration. This project was among one of the many privileges that we have been given over the past 42 years.
The owners of the property were about to embark on a renovation of their home, parts of which were dated back to the 1800’s. We were invited to submit a proposal for the design and renovation of the garden to be undertaken whist the house was being renovated. The garden at our first visit was an old, well established but tired garden extending down to the Yarra River where ancient river red gums stand as quiet sentinels in the primordial landscape.
The challenges that the site presented included:
- Difficult and limited access into and throughout the site
- Degraded, dominant and dangerous vegetation
- Disconnected living areas of the garden
- Existing significant structures that contributed to the garden character, including stone walls and steps, water features, pathways and swimming pool.
- Existing plantings and the significant River Red Gums that very much defined the character of the landscape
- The Yarra River and the effect of the flood levels on the garden design and function – Run down facilities such as water supply, irrigation and lighting
- To ensure privacy and security
In broad terms the aims of the proposed garden design were:
- To improve the connections between the various areas of the garden. This was achieved with the use of meandering pathways, floating timber boardwalks and sweeping lawn areas.
- To protect the significant vegetation and to remove the unwanted vegetation
- To protect and restore the significant structures in the garden
- To maintain the ‘old world’ character of the garden and the natural character of the riverside landscape.
- To improve the ‘liveability’ and function of the garden and living areas. This was achieved by incorporating large expanses of terraced paved and decked surfaces and redeveloping the pool terrace precinct, including a slate roofed pool pavilion with external kitchen facilities.
- To create a garden that has interest and diversity in all the seasons of the year and at night time
- To upgrade all the site services such as irrigation and the garden lighting
- To improve the sustainability of the landscape with the establishment of a wetland, underground water tank and compost bins.
The construction works occupied over twelve months during late 2009 and 2010. Coordination and management of all the trades involved seasonal conditions, development of design details and budgets made the project an interesting and exciting challenge.
The garden continues to develop and mature with the timely and regular maintenance, giving a great deal of pleasure to the owners and all that visit.