This elegant garden features curvaceous borders, bluestone pavers, seating by a Victorian fountain, showcased mature trees and visual connection to an adjacent park

Landscaped design by Daniel Rawson, Ian Barker Gardens 

The brief

The rear garden is to accommodate the lifestyle of an active older couple with visiting grandchildren. 

For the front garden the owners wanted the structure of the garden to hark back to a period when the property was originally established and when the garden style worked hand in hand with the building. 

The homeowners are also garden lovers so wanted a variety of plants, particularly flowering and a variety of foliage colours.


There is certainly great art in creating a garden that respects a home’s heritage architecture, while simultaneously providing contemporary style and energy, and Ian Barker’s team has painstakingly achieved this in two stages with this Hawthorn landscape. 

Lead designer Daniel Rawson describes the process as having being driven by a recent rear home renovation that ‘left this area of the garden in a bit of a mess’, so it was completed first.

It includes an expansive lawn area, a blue-stone paved outdoor entertaining area, and a garden space dominated by informal winding paths through dense plantings.

There’s less formality after the initial area of a feature urn and circular paving. 

The garden is open with a large serpentine edged lawn, surrounded by wide garden beds full of mixed planting that touches on the owners' love of gardening and the era of the house, garden and neighbouring homes. 

The plant selection reflects the owners' appreciation for a variety of plants, particularly flowering (such as Pieris japonica, or ‘Temple Bells’, for its clusters of light pink buds that open to gorgeous white bell-shaped flowers in winter) and a variety of foliage colours.

"There is also a park in the distance, which became part of the 'borrowed landscape',” says Rawson. "The key focus was to not only maintain views into the neighbouring park, but to really maximise them." 

Views are enhanced through the careful selection and positioning of plants. 

A prerequisite for the rear was to keep planting low in height to allow views of the park and to assist in making the owners' garden feel larger.

Being an older home, there were considerations such as existing trees and a heritage listed shed, that needed to be incorporated into the design. 

There’s a brilliant golden elm in the back corner, which is a real show stopper. 

There are also some large distinctive trees in the front garden such as cedrus and jacaranda.

The front layout is a contemporary take on a traditional style. 

The owners wanted the structure of the garden to hark back to a period when the property was originally established and the garden style worked hand in hand with the building. 

A series of sweeping curves create a paved space that allows transportation through the garden reminiscent of the original garden design. 

This contemporary take meant that the existing gate, central to the front door, was re-positioned to the side while the herringbone bluestone used at the rear, was replicated at the front to achieve a lovely balance between the present and the past.

As you move down the east side of the property, a series of large bluestone steppers signify a break from the traditional style into a more relaxed space.

 Here you’ll find a quiet seating area, next to a beautiful Victorian fountain, perfect for a morning coffee or to read a book.

And while a beautiful design and complementary plant selection were significant factors in the success of this garden, so was the impeccable landscape construction by Greener Visions. 

"The team did a fantastic job with the herringbone paving which is a key feature that requires a keen eye for detail and craftsmanship," says Rawson.

Credit list

Bluestone Herringbone path with Bluestone boarder;Bluestone steppers through Dichondra repens
Buxus semperviren; Pieris ‘Temple bells’; Iris germanica;Gardenia ‘Four seasons’; Acer ‘Norwegian sunset’; Liriope ‘Royal purple’; Ajuga ‘Jungle giant’; Wisteria floribunda (on wire on carport fascia); Dichondra repens (between steppers)

Designed by: Landscaped by Ian Barker Gardens 

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Claire Takacs

13 Feb, 2022

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