Perennial Garden Design: To Achieve A More Organic Look

perennial garden design

perennial garden design Ilove to produce gardens that showcase naturalistic perennial planting, as anyone who is familiar with mywork in the last five or so years will probably be aware.

With plants to suit our own distinct environment, inspired by the New Perennial Movement that has existed across Europe and North America for quite a few years, To be honest I have become passionate about creating identical naturalistic look here in Australia. Given the scope of this gardenand the overall number of generous sized garden beds, there wasthe opportunity here to produce the sort of spectacular naturalistic garden that Ilove. Covering the entertaining area is a chunky open pergola created from reclaimed 200mm x 200mm planks of spotted gumand we also designed a sliding door made from spotted gum, sothe ownerscan close off the entertaining area from the front garden to create some privacy.

From a planting perspective, Isee the front garden as a contemporary have a traditional flowering garden.

perennial garden designThe boxhedging framing the garden beds gives the garden a traditional manicured look, however, we have used a carefully selected palette of perennials planted in a naturalistic style to create a ‘free flowing’ effect. Notice that traditional perennial borders are usually planted with the tallest growing plants at the back to the shortest at the front and tend to look quite ordered. Thechosen perennials grow to similar heights, with the exception of a few slightly taller plants scattered throughout, with an intention to achieve a more organic look.

Accordingly the team and Iset about designing a stunning garden that will do justice to the beautiful old house, while also providing the ownerswith a functional space where they could escape the daily pressures of life and enjoy time with family and friends, with all this in mind. In the rear garden, the ownerswere open to a more contemporary and streamlined design as long as it didn’t clash with the house and was still able to tie in with the traditional front garden to create an overall cohesive space. Remember, high on their wish list was a relaxing swimming pool and spa for the family to enjoy, a generous lawn area for their three primary schoolaged kids to play, and an entertaining area with a pizza oven was non negotiable.

The planting palette and bluestone paving used in the front are carried through to the side and rear garden, that helps to create a seamless transition from the front to the back and ensures that the overall space ‘makes sense’.

The existing garage right after the driveway was demolished and the bricks used to build a contemporary entertaining area and pizza oven. While contributing to the character of the garden with their weathered appearance, the bricks were left in their existing condition. Most of the key perennial plants the design teamchose include the pink flowering Agastache ‘Sweet Lily’, pink and whitish Echinaceapupurea, violet Verbena bonariensis, purple/blue Nepeta ‘Walkers Low’, violet Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’, and burgundy Pelargonium sidoides. As opposed to a traditional English cottage garden where a much larger planting palette must be used, the repetition of a small number of key plants throughout the garden is what helps to create the naturalistic feel only without the repetition.

As well as the existing Buxus hedging around the curved garden beds, in the front garden we retained quite a few established trees and shrubs and the existing curved lawn area.

Wedecided to remove the driveway leading up the right hand side of the property to the brick garage and replace it instead with a bluestone pedestrian pathway, garden bed and paved ‘foyer’ area, all which are used to provide a transition between the path and the free flowing lawn area.

Some of the rear garden is a big simple layout, and while the planting palette is carried through from the front, it’s less abundant. So there’s a generous lawn area in the centre of the garden for the kids to run around and a couple of perennial filled garden beds, that draw the eye. While another is planted with violet salvia and sits in between the bluestone steppers flanking the swimming pool, one bed surrounding the pinoak next to the entertaining area is filled with mixed pink and purplish perennials. As a result, mostly there’re percentage of potential they present. Opportunity to revamp the front garden and completely redesign the rear garden of this beautiful Victorian era home in Box Hill in Melbourne was definitely one of them! With all that said… Basically the owners of this historic Victorianera home had boughtthe property with quite a few mature trees and an already established front garden that was in desperate need of an overhaul. While enhancing its quaint charm, they’ve been adamant that the new design for the front garden had to pay respect to the house’s heritage by complementing the architecture. Besides, they’ve been also keen for amore logical solution for the path leading up to the front entrance of the house.

The planting colour palette useswhites, burgundies and pinky/purple tones, that when viewed from a distance, produce an overall ‘blush’ tone.

Addingwhite tothe colour palette helpssoften the entire look, that works incredibly well in this particular garden. Ifeel that the colour palette complements the creamy colour of the house exterior perfectly, and in addition goes exceptionally well with the bluestone paving. So planting colour palette useswhites, burgundies and pinky/purple tones, that when viewed from a distance, produce an overall ‘blush’ tone. Of course, addingwhite tothe colour palette helpssoften that look, that works incredibly well in this particular garden.

Nonetheless, ifeel that the colour palette complements the creamy colour of the house exterior perfectly, and on top of that goes exceptionally well with the bluestone paving.


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