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.