Kirribilli Residence, NSW
This client came to us with the vision of creating a garden that would complement the modern Architecture of their newly renovated house. When first setting foot on the property the house was part way through the final stages of the construction, so it was a great time to see how the garden areas would be affected by the house. After looking at some of the Architects previous work and knowing the client wanted to create an urban jungle we set about designing a greener the green space.
Starting with the front yard, the Architect had designed a large red water trough that would fall some 2 metres into a collection pond. A very dominant feature, and rendered red, meant it would be the focal point of the front yard. Within the water feature were cantilevered steps making up the drop from the terrace to the lower garden. To mask the difference in height we planted Magnolia ‘Little Gem’ in groves which would grow together to form a green tower and ground the water feature. Under planted with a sea of Liriope ‘Evergreen Giant’, their trunks would disappear and when hit with sea breezes would look great against the red wall.
On the boundaries we planted out XCuppressocyparis leylandii ‘Leightons Green’ to screen out a hostel, and Viburnum odoratissimum to hide the street. A small square patch of lawn brought an element of suburban living back into the garden.
The access to the front door and later to the rear garden had been cleverly designed by the Architect with blue board and spacers to make a feature of an otherwise ugly masonry wall. Stepping stones had been laid down on top of the existing slab at different sizes to create an interest to the front door. As it was on a slab, and planting depth was almost not existent, we planted a ground cover of Viola hederacea to soften the steppers.
The back of the property was a mix of differing levels and materials. A carport was below which dictated most of the heights, and a set of steps nominated the path level. Wanting to really soften and ground the house, we planted a grove of Pyrus nivalis and under planted them with Miscanthus sinensis to produce an overgrown effect as one entered the garden. With continuation of the stepping stones from the front of the house and the ground cover, continuity was achieved, linking the whole garden together. A planting of Olea europaea in pots and a further planting of Miscanthus sinensis produced the bones for a beautiful modern urban jungle garden.