Steve Taylor, Mornington

14 Tallis Drive, Mornington (2016)

Open Date
12-13 Nov. 2016
Garden Entry

Note: This garden was opened in 2016

Steve’s own personal family garden has been 5 years in the physical making but has been a vision of Steve’s for more than 8 years. He designed and built the home in a way that would be surrounded by a garden that could be lived in as much as the internal spaces themselves. The ultimate aim of the home and garden was for them to mould together as one, and having the benefits of designing the complete package opened up many opportunities without the standard barriers and restrictions of two separate parties being involved.

The front yard is set well back off Tallis drive, the home is a bold, modern, coastal example of well proportioned architecture. The garden has a more organic, free flowing feel to it which contrasts the strong clean lines of the home. This contrast helps soften and ground the heavy box nature of the home and to prove that contrasts can work, Steve has introduced a series of integrated feature raised circular Corten planter boxes and lawn areas. Planting has been a mix of cuttings, left overs from some projects, some dug up recycled plants and many new purchased additions which all combine to create a focus on silver blue, lime green and dark green foliage. Flowers are not the focus, the plantings are more about colour and foliage contrasts. The palette consists of an existing acacia tree, a large xanthorea glauca, strelitzia parvifolia, agave varieties, buxus spheres, echeverias, prostrate rosemary, Nandina flirt, cotyledons, scenecios, asparagus ferns, Japanese plumb yews, Japanese maples, grevillea mondo varieties and other scattered smaller specimens.

An internal courtyard highlights a simple water feature, repeated feature polished concrete slabs that wrap up and over to create a unique built in bench seat, bamboo has also been used here for architectural screening along with repeated low level plantings and a feature Japanese maple. This little space really is a great example of a cohesive design process.

The rear yard all revolves around a stunning modern pool, a raised black reflection pond style spa, feature floating concrete slabs, a large alfresco zone with pizza above and built in bbq bench, continued round feature Corten planters, integrated outdoor shower, a large level lawn and feature timber batten screens. Plants from the front are repeated in the rear with the addition of a large aloe tree, olive hedges which frame the rear garden and even huecheras have been used in and amongst the dominant architectural foliage to prove that when it comes to plants, anything goes.

In summary, this garden is a great example of anything goes when it comes to plants and material combinations, direct contrasts in structural design styles can actually be complimentary to each other and that when budgets aren’t there from the start, it pays to be patient and stage the works over a number of years to get the best results. Along the journey many of these ideas were experimental, some have worked, others haven’t but Steve has taken many of these ideas and features into his clients projects which has been a great learning curve and reassurance that it can pay to step outside your comfort zone no matter how established your business maybe