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Whilst all the gardens displayed were delivered as ‘complete garden resurrections’ (ie. the works covered all the gardens at each property), each client’s garden project was delivered as a number of sub-projects, completed and invoiced before work began on the next section of their garden. This approach enabled our clients to better manage their costs and payments for the garden project.
Nikki purchased her South Yarra apartment in December 2019 and it was the Japanese garden, flush with the colours of its summer foliage and blossoms and in the front courtyard that attracted her to the property. During the following months, as she made her home in the apartment, she noticed that the layout of the garden, particularly the rounded and uneven stones used for paving, proved impractical for any outdoor living use and as the year progressed to Autumn, she noticed that most of the plants were deciduous and as such there was no longer any foliage or colour in her garden. It felt quite stark. A further problem was the fountain, a key element in a Japanese garden, did not work.
Malcolm incorporated Nikki’s plans for the area to be paved in front of her living area, where French windows are to be fitted, as well as ideas from his own experience with Japanese gardens, to design the new layout. Resurrection Gardens selected plants that adhered to Japanese design concepts and provided all the services, including the paving, painting of the rendered brick wall surrounding the courtyard, repair of the fountain, installation of the garden lighting and further creative touches, to resurrect the garden.
Soon after Wendy moved into the terrace she had purchased in Prahran, approximately twelve years ago, she designed and planted gardens according to the formal English garden design at the front and rear of her property. She planted ‘standard’ varieties of plants typically found in an English garden such as Roses and Gardenias as well as other flowering shrubs such as Azalea and Daphne to complement the Camellias that were already growing in her front garden so the garden features many different flowers that blossom throughout the year.
Wendy’s garden is important to her and not only for the aesthetic aspect it provides her home and the joy it brings her personally but also for the amenity the rear garden provides, extending her indoor living space into a beautiful outdoor courtyard area.
Over the past few years Wendy has been unable able to dedicate the time required to care for her garden as she previously had and this has seen the immaculate condition of her garden decline and the health of the plants and soil start to diminish.
The instructions she provided to Resurrection Gardens were that the English design had to be maintained (and in some parts of the garden restored) and new plants selected for the rear garden had to have white blossom. She also chose a Weeping Prunus (Weeping Cherry) as the central focus plant for the front garden, replacing a standard Gardenia that was in poor health and had not grown as expected.
‘Resurrecting’ Wendy’s gardens, the rear in particular, included a significant amount of pruning to shape the plants (Buxus) as is required in the English design and to remove the old blossoming growth, particularly from the roses to enable an abundance of new blossoms in the next year (or season). Another significant element of the project was working the soil to improve its friability and build the microbial life within the soil so it can naturally support the healthy growth of the plants.
Joe is an accomplished gardener and actively involved in developing and maintaining the large and lush garden surrounding his house. The garden is comprised of a number of species of Lilly Pilly that he has grown into hedges, roses, Bird of Paradise, Birch trees, citrus trees, succulents he has propagated and planted in a number of areas in the garden and a raised area at the rear of property that has been planted with Lilly Pilly trees, creepers and features a fish pond with a small fountain. J
Joe’s only problem with his garden was that he had ‘run out of inspiration’.
Joe was open to ideas we had to ‘resurrect’ his garden such as increasing the diversity in his garden with more species of plants and with a focus on natives where the plot is exposed to full sun. We also introduced a tiered approach to plantings in hi garden with blossoming groundcovers (they also to reduce the open spaces in the garden where weeds will be inclined to grow), low-growing and blossoming shrubs and flowers and taller shrubs and trees where the space allowed. This approach not only increases the number of plants in the garden (diversity) but is more aligned to how plants grow in a natural environment.
The raised garden area at the rear of the property that featured the fishpond was where the most significant ‘resurrection’ was achieved. The plot was shaded by the house so it received very little sunlight. At ‘ground level’ it was overgrown with ivy and a Chinese Jasmine creeper and the trees had grown quite tall with significant foliage. In addition, there were roots that had grown into the fishpond reducing the amount available for the fish, even with the flow from the fountain.
All these issues were addressed, including restoration of the fishpond and plants suitable to the plot’s conditions were planted; Ferns, Cycads, Lamium (groundcover) and Bromeliads. Most satisfyingly, after Resurrection Gardens had completed the works on Joe’s garden, he continued to plant some of the species we had introduced to his garden.
Mark and Francis own and reside in an apartment that one of only six in the block. Situated in one of Toorak’s ‘leafy’ streets, the block has significant areas of garden that are located at the front of the building where hedges have been grown along the fence to provide privacy, in plots on either side of the front entrance, along the RHS of the building (where Mark and Francis’ apartment faces) and even small plots between four driveways on the LHS of the building.
The garden was planted to a minimal extent with a limited variety of flowering plants that tended to be bulbous (ie. will spread when planted) and required little maintenance.
Mark and Francis assumed ‘ownership’ of the garden on behalf of the other residents and engaged us to ‘resurrect’ it and bring about an outcome that was not only aesthetically more pleasing but would invite the residents to engage with their garden and feel that sense of joy and calm that beautiful gardens provide.
The different conditions in each of the areas of the garden determined the plants that were selected. The garden along the RHS of the building was south-facing and shaded by the
building and the high trees along the fence in the adjacent property. Therefore, this garden was planted with a diverse selection of groundcovers, low-growing flowering shrubs and flowering trees, evergreen and deciduous, that are suitable for shade conditions. An area of this garden was also planted with a variety of ferns. In the plots between the driveways, native groundcovers and low-growing shrubs were planted as this side of the building faced north and the plots were exposed to full sun. In the plots on either side of the front entrance that were west-facing and also under the cover of the building, (full sun and very little rainfall reaching this plot), Cycads and a variety of hardy herbaceous plants were selected. The irrigation system for this area was re-aligned and tested to ensure the water reached all the plants in each plot. Finally, Mark requested that creepers be planted along the fence at the rear of the building. Chinese Jasmine were selected but as there was no garden plot along this fence, planting areas had to be dug into the soil at the bottom of the fence. These were then filled with compost to enable the Chinese Jasmine to be planted and trained to the climbing wires that had been attached to the fence.
Deb lives in the Melbourne bayside suburb of Bonbeach. When she purchased her unit three years ago, the only plant of note in the garden was a large Syzygium (Lilli Pilli) tree growing at the rear of the property. Now Deb’s rear garden features many well established shrubs, most of which are native and a number of other low growing plants and herbs. It also features a pathway made of sleepers sunk into the ground as stepping stones. Whilst Deb is happy with what she’s achieved in her garden, she struggles to find the time to dedicate to her garden that she once did and there are also issues, such as plants struggling to survive in her sandy soil, that she requires assistance with.
In addition to generally improving her garden, Deb asked Resurrection Gardens to provide a plan for the pergola area outside her back door and somehow establish a garden in this area that has a concrete floor and no available garden plot.
The key focus of ‘resurrecting’ Deb’s garden was to enrich her sandy soil with large amounts of organic matter and composted mulch to provide her plants with a naturally healthy soil structure that can sustain the harsher summer conditions. The objective of the new plantings was to improve the biodiversity such as the Magnolias planted in the plot adjacent to the front entry path. They not only provide bright coloured flowers but will also grow to cover the wall of the neighbouring unit that is the current vista from Deb’s front window.
The design of the pergola was according to a tropical theme featuring bamboo screening to cover the exposed wooden fence and tropical plants in pots; small growing bamboo, Ctenanthe and Monstera to bring the garden into this area. This garden also included the climbing plant Mandevilla planted along the base of the other fence to introduce more life and colour into Deb’s outdoor living space.
The approximate cost of Deb’s garden project: $3,800 (inc. GST)