11 Shiers St. Alphington (2018)
Note: This garden was opened in 2018
We were asked to create an interesting garden that included replacing the back deck and removing the double car garage. The designs had to include space for one car and possibly two behind the roller door.
Working from the front, we replaced the front fence and made a central path of French pattern travertine pavers up to the front verandah. Edging the path we planted catmint (Nepeta dropmore) and then in the lawn we planted some Japanese maples to grow and create a lovely avenue to walk through. To soften the formality of this central pathway we created curved garden beds, planted with a mix of perennials and grass-like plants. Liriopes soften the exposed aggregate driveway from the side fence. Nandinas grow happily in the dry garden bed below the windows, and then the rest of the plants provide colour, perfume and year round interest. The large street tree is slightly restricting as it takes a lot of the moisture and nutrients from our garden.
Down the left side of the house there are water tanks and utilities and the right side has space for the cars. A small shed houses the gardening equipment. Then we have a vegetable garden making use of the full sun. Coming up from this garden is a red laser cut screen which provides interest and colour, but also allows the owner to leave the blinds up inside and have the sun come through casting a beautiful pattern throughout. Red is a favourite colour and has been used inside, particularly in the kitchen and dining areas, so it works well carried through to outside as well: note the red BBQ sitting on its built in bench.
The back garden reflects the front with its central path, nepeta edging and Japanese maples. Here though, the focus is on the end raised garden bed up to the triptic light box. During the day it is a lovely sculptural piece, but at night it sends a warm glow through the garden. Hedges of hornbeams bring strength and greenery to the sides. At the end, surprisingly it leads to another path; narrow rusted arbours add some height and frame the path on each side of the central path. One side directs to the bird bath, the other to the side and along to the timber seat framed by the boston ivy wall behind.
Plantings of hydrangeas and hellebores under the ornamental pears soften the two back corners. Magnolia Little Gems and three varieties of gardenias around the light box give strength to the back of the garden.
Different roses climb up the rusted trellis along with star jasmine and occasionally climbing beans run up the arbours. Colours come into the garden in the soft plantings around the main plants.
The back of the house was opened up with the installation of new larger sliding glass doors. These open onto the new bigger deck and pergola with an automatic shade cover to provide relief from the hot afternoon sun in summer. The deck has a step that runs right around which opens it up to the whole garden rather than having an entrance onto it.
The garden has plenty of space for entertainment, relaxing or play. Max the cat, loves lying all around the garden; from the seat to the deck to the garden beds.