I was originally asked to design this garden built on the shores of Lake Tinaroo to create a more logical point of access and provide solutions to dramatic changes in levels. The main feature of the design selected was to be a path of contrasting textures and colours – stone/tiles and exposed seeded concrete aggregate that lead physically and focally through different areas and features including beautiful stone walls and winding around to the eventual destination of the main entrance. A more direct route lead from the upper level that could be easily accessed by the owners.
The property is unfenced and the local populations of bandicoots, wallabies and echidnas treat this little haven as their private vegetable patch. Cherished plants are dug out on a regular basis by these small animals and carelessly thrown onto the paths and replanted and replanted. Constant persistence by a dedicated and determined owner has lead to a unique garden and a very special friendship as we have slowly developed the garden into a more animal-resistant property and Sandra has put her distinctive imprint onto the original scheme. Increasing the dependence on rocks between the plants and finding plant varieties that look attractive to us and less appealing to the animal population has helped reduce some of the problems first faced.
The result of a couple of years of Sandra’s hard work and friendship have resulted in a garden that gives us great pride (although it reinforces the idea that a lovely garden only happens in a collaboration between all the people involved in its design and construction). I’ve watched my friend take each concept I give her such as ‘whimsy in the garden’ and advice such as ‘stick to the theme’ to a new unexpected level. In addition to the native marauding animals, Sandra’s ever-growing collection of little garden art works and treasures peek out from every rock crevice and plant. I feel like I’ve been part of a process which has resulted not only in a much-loved garden but the development of a confident and creative gardener.
The house was a great collaboration between building designer Max Slade, builder James Nasser and the amazing rock wall creator Rick Tunstead who were very supportive to any ideas from the owners and their landscape designer. A great team to work with!