Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Open Garden: Gordon Ford - Fulling

As part of the Open Garden Scheme the wonderful garden of the late Gordon Ford was opened for a weekend. I have to say that as a landscape architect it its almost impossible to recreate environments with such authenticity, that one can not identify them as created. But Gordon Ford had such an ability to create a place that breaths with such quiet authenticity and identity that the idea of the 'Australian Garden' can finally be seen to be realised. 

The front entrance to the garden of Fulling

The word garden may not be the right word because walking through the meandering path, that narrows, widens and bleeds into the surrounding planting feels more like a walk through healthy bushland in its most beautiful form.  

Dense plantings of mixed indigenous and native Australian plants.
I was completely blown away by how understated the planting palette was, comprising mostly of indigenous natives to eastern Melbourne as well as a few 'exotic' native Grevilleas and Eucalypts. The Eucs especially, were masterfully located where the beauty of their bark and the anchoring quality that they give to the garden can best be seen.

Tight grouping of Eucalyptus maculata
I especially liked how the trees were used to punctuate different spaces and little plant groupings that meant that you slowed down on your walk through to avoid knocking your head or tripping over a root. This configuration not only creates visual interest but forces the visitor to participate physically so that the body interacts with the space instead of just passing through it.  
Rock placement in the middle of the path
Gordon was also famous for his rock placement, by which he masterfully grouped rocks into various formations that mimicked natural groupings. These placements formed what appear in many places to be incidentally natural steps or bench seats and in some areas have been used simply to highlight the beauty of the material.
Rocks as stepping stones from the pergola to the walled seating area.
It is such a lovely garden and so masterfully done that it really inspires me to become a better designer. I have only mentioned a few of the wonderful aspects of his garden but what I want to say most is that it gave me such a sense of peace that I never thought possible in a constructed garden.
On a technical level it is so well done in terms of construction and composition that if I didn't know I was surrounded by suburbia, I would have thought that I was in the middle of beautiful bushland.

Absolutely worth a visit if you get the chance!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Front Garden

Over the last few weekends I have been replanting the little garden in front of the house and I'm feeling a little concerned to say the least! Before I moved in I went on a plant buying binge and managed to buy myself so many plants that i have nowhere to put them! So I ended up planting the majority in this tiny garden thus resulting in a slightly 'bitty' look. I keep telling everyone that I'm going for a cottage look and I'm just waiting to be convinced! Hopefully by the time summer comes around the garden will be full and all the perennials will be in flower - proving I know what I'm doing... I didnt just do 4 years at uni did I?

Bitty Garden
Please excuse the cut off juice containers protecting the Festuca glauca and the gro bag around the Salvia x sylvestris 'Caradonna' but the rabbits and Boris the resident possum really like eating these two plants for some reason...
I have planted the garden out with a mix of natives, exotic perennials and succulents in order to have interest all year round. and as the theme is grey, purple and red I'm hoping everything will tie together! Fingers crossed!
The planting list is as follows:
Lomandra 'Tanika' - sad i know
Myoporum parvifolium
Limonium perezii
Sedum 'Matrona' & 'Autumn Joy'
Festuca glauca
Calmagrostis 'Karl Forester'
Cotyledon orbiculata
Barchyscome multifida
Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Dianella - Blue form from mum and dads place, dont know the cultivar
Kniphofia - A yellow form, cant remember
Euphorbia wulfenii
Echium candicans
and good old Echeveria 'Chicken and Hens'
That's all i can remember for now..

Oh actually I also planted this:
Echinops bannaticus
Oh so exciting!!!! It is a Globe flower and will hopefully end up with purple globe flowers reaching 1m. Will look great with the red flowering Silver Princess (tree in front of the window that I forgot to list!)
From the BBC Gardening Website
I will be sure to update how it all goes down the track as it grows. Hopefully its going to work!
And my succulent collection seems to be growing too. I rearranged them all on Sunday and couldn't believe how many little terracotta pots i have! Still, I love them to bits. They just look so good all the time! Look at how good they are! I will have to do a succulent post soon!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Post number 1 - Beginnings of a veggie garden!

I figured that I should write my first post today because I have had my first landscape supply delivery! This pile of soil and timber is to become my veggie plot, which will hopefully provide all the veg that Joel and I need! Wishful thinking probably, but I can dream...

Ecowood sleepers & 3.5m of Premo Soil!
I have designed four beds all 3x1.5m that will be 200mm high. I chose the raised bed design in order to keep the veggie garden as neat as possible - but knowing me, it might not help! As the soil at my place is pretty good because of it being on a flood plain, I didn’t need to raise the garden too much - as you would have to on a heavy clay soil.
I will also have to fence off the garden due to the rabbits that like munching all my lovely plants and I’m envisioning pickets maybe, or a combination of posts and found timbers / fallen branches. I’m not sure yet!

Its all very exciting though after so many months and months of house hunting, to finally have a place where I can truly express my passion for all things landscape and VEGETABLE GARDENING is just amazing!
I’m looking forward to sharing the progression of my garden with all the blog visitors and friends and hopefully I will inspire others to take off their gardening gloves and get dirty!!

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