This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Layered Garden, Designed Around A Liquidambar Tree

Gardens

Walking through this Camberwell garden mirrors the experience of entering the actual house, offering a journey reflective of the property’s architectural heritage.

The richly layered planting scheme in the front garden is tailored to the house’s ornate Victorian facade, while the pared back rear garden resembles the property’s contemporary extension. Underpinning the entire project is an existing mature Liquidambar tree in the front yard.

Ben Scott, principal designer of Ben Scott Garden Design, reveals the philosophy behind this majestic space.

14th January, 2020

The front garden is tailored to the home’s ornate Victorian facade. Photo – Simon Griffiths

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Helleborus orientalis, Ajuga ‘Catlins Giant’, Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’, Lomandra ‘Tanika’, Verbena bonariensis, Liriope muscari are among plant species in the front garden Photo – Simon Griffiths

More species in the front garden include Hydrangea quercifolia, Euphorbia wulfenii, Miscanthus sinensis, Eupatorium atrorubens, Hydrangea macrophylla, Plectranthus ecklonii, Lilium philippinense, and Arthropodium cirratum. Photo – Simon Griffiths

The front garden essentially forms one large garden bed beneath the outstretched branches of an exisiting Liquidambar tree.  Photo – Simon Griffiths

Pyrus chanticleer are used as pleached deciduous hedges along the side boundaries. Photo – Simon Griffiths

The rear garden is much more pared back, working with the simplicity of the house’s contemporary addition. Photo – Simon Griffiths

All the built outdoor elements have also been designed by Ben Scott Garden Design. Photo – Simon Griffiths

This garden was completed four years ago, over which time the plants have matured and adjustments have been made. Photo – Simon Griffiths

The home’s renovation was designed by Ilario G Cortese Architects. Construction by Simon McCurdy Landscapes. Photo – Simon Griffiths

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 14th January 2020

‘You can get plants to grow under established trees. It just requires strong horticultural knowledge.’ – Ben Scott

When designing a garden on a 1000-square metre block, it’s tempting to allocate large expanses to a lawn. In this garden however, Ben Scott Garden Design has created distinct zones reflective of the accompanying home’s varied architecture.

The inspiration for the entire project began with an existing mature Liquidambar tree. Ben designed the project (literally and metaphorically) around this tree, with the front garden essentially forming one large garden bed beneath its outstretched branches.

Ben says getting plants to grow under this tree, while managing the full sun conditions elsewhere in the garden, was the most challenging part of this project. He explains, ‘Although your palette of plants is restricted, you can get plants to grow under established trees. It just requires strong horticultural knowledge.’

Another inspiration for the garden was the work of landscape architects James Van Sweden and Wolfgang Oehme, who designed similarly layered and seasonal planting schemes. ‘I think the front garden references their ideologies and work, with botanically rich perennials en masse with strong seasonal interest,’ says Ben.

The rear garden is much more pared back, working with the simplicity of the house’s contemporary addition. Attention has been paid to screening plants such as bamboo and Boston ivy, which shroud the built outdoor elements with greenery, and offer privacy. The deciduous mature ornamental grapevine on the rear pergola provides summer shade, while still allowing light through in the winter months.

This garden was completed four years ago, over which time the plants have matured and adjustments have been made. ‘Good garden designers will get 95 per cent of it right, but there is always five per cent that needs updating to suit the specific onsite microclimates and conditions,’ says Ben. This garden will continue to beautifully evolve over the decades, serving generations to come.

This Week

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  16 hours ago

View Comments

Similar Stories

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

Three experts on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces, and how long it will take to start seeing results!

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

The key MIFGS exhibitors who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Planthunter

A Self-Confessed Crazy Plant Lady's Suburban Garden

Jac Semmler of The Digger's Club shows us around her wild, wacky and wonderful home garden in Frankston.
Georgina Reid

This Week

Architecture

A Serene Japanese-Inspired Home In Melbourne

Japanese design principles underpin Highbury Grove by Ritz&Ghougassian, designed for the studio's co-director.
Amelia Barnes
  8 hours ago

TDF Collect

'I Been Born There' By Maggie Green At TDF Collect – A Virtual Walkthrough!

In lieu of being able to open this spectacular exhibition, we made a video with SIRAP to bring Maggie Green's debut solo show to you!

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

We turn to three seasoned experts for tips on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces and how long it will take to start seeing re...

News

'Design Lives Here' Takes You Inside Other People's Houses, From The Comfort Of Your Own

Sick of the inside of your own house by now? Take look at someone else’s in this new book by the former editor of Artichoke magazine...

The Good Room

A Magazine Maven's Sentimental Good Room In The Southern Highlands

Former head of Vogue Living and Monocle magazines, Robyn Holt shares her 'Good Room' at home in regional NSW, layered with pieces collected
Lisa Marie Corso

Interiors

Introducing The 2020 Dulux Colour Awards Finalists!

From a candy pink bathroom to an all-green-everything living room, take a closer look at our favourite residential projects shortlisted for

News

Cream Town Is Making It Easy (And Affordable!) To Support Local Artists From Home

Two Victorian artists launch an online affordable art dealership for artists who have lost their income to the coronavirus pandemic.

Family

Artist Dawn Tan On Her Scary Start To Motherhood + Keeping Calm In The Time Of Corona

The much-loved Melbourne artist speaks candidly about one of the most challenging times ever for her little family, and her new online art r...
Ashe Davenport

Homes

A Designer’s ‘Curated Maximalist’ Apartment in Sydney

Interior designer and stylist Jono Fleming shares his treasure-box apartment in Sydney's Waterloo.

Food

Week 2 Of Pantry-Friendly Meal Ideas From Julia Busuttil Nishimura

The queen of home cooking returns to warm our hearts with another seven day's worth of meal ideas, and a shopping list for everything you'll...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  16 hours ago

Studio Visit

Kayleigh Heydon's Paintings Will Light Up Your Life

The Melbourne-based multidisciplinary artist takes us through her Northcote studio.
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

Creating The Best Kids Bedroom Ever!

...got some time on your hands? Lauren Li shows us how to create a kids bedroom that is sure to keep the kids AND the grown-ups happy!
Lauren Li

Times Like These

Times Like These... With New York Times Food Columnist And Author Alison Roman

The New York-based bestselling author and beloved cook talks about feeling all the feelings of COVID-19, finding the motivation to work, and...

Architecture

A Victorian Terrace Transformed, With Minimal Intervention

Let there be light! Austin Maynard Architects illuminates a dark Carlton terrace with a new renovation, including internal gardens!
Amelia Barnes

News

Go To Caroline Walls’ Gallery Opening Via IGTV!

Let’s be real, what else are you doing? The Melbourne-based visual artist is taking to the virtual realm to open her solo show, Resemb...
Sasha Gattermayr

Similar Stories

Gardens

How To Start A Productive Garden TODAY!

Three experts on how to get started, what to plant in small spaces, and how long it will take to start seeing results!

Gardens

Five Garden Designs You Didn't Get To See At The Melbourne International Flower + Garden Show

The key MIFGS exhibitors who were due to participate at Australia's biggest garden fair this week.
Sasha Gattermayr

The Planthunter

A Self-Confessed Crazy Plant Lady's Suburban Garden

Jac Semmler of The Digger's Club shows us around her wild, wacky and wonderful home garden in Frankston.
Georgina Reid