A Super Swish Suburban Front Garden

The efforts of a landscape designer are usually concentrated towards the rear of the property, where a private sanctuary can be nurtured in relative privacy, hidden from the street. Not here!

This Camberwell project by Bethany Williamson Landscape Architecture is a celebration of the front garden. Subbing out the traditional lawn for a space layered with different heights, explosive colours and varied textures, this often overlooked domain is given all the attention it deserves!

Sasha Gattermayr

Defying the traditional lawn-centric approach to front gardens, Bethany Williamson opted for a plant-focussed palette for this Camberwell project. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Pops of pink and purple courtesy of ivia ‘mystic spires’ and fuschia coneflowers. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Undulating Japanese buxus shrubs lend a sculptural element to the garden, flanking the path leading up to the front door. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Bethany has used traditional plantings in a subtle, contemporary way! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

The garden seems simple on paper, but on closer inspection it is complex and detailed. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Purple perennials give pops of colour in the summer months. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Low-lying hydrangeas and star jasmine create floral groundcovers. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Bethany’s focus was on creating intricate layers and a variety of textures to ensure the garden would unfold on closer inspection. Photo – Martina Gemmola.

*The* picture-perfect garden for a heritage double fronter! Photo – Martina Gemmola.

Sasha Gattermayr
10th of February 2021

This Camberwell garden by Bethany Williamson Landscape Architecture subverts the focus of traditional garden design to the front of the house, where a plant-focussed palette elevates heritage architecture, in one of Melbourne’s leafy suburban enclaves. The design moves away from a lawn-centric front garden and towards an abundant, subtle garden, with plenty of layers.

‘We wanted to play with the elements usually found in traditional front gardens, and give them a contemporary and current feel,’ explains Bethany. ‘Clipped hedges, soft shrubs, a path from the gate to the front door, flowering perennials and pebbles were all used to make the space feel calm rather than traditional.’

The drama in the scenery comes from the plants rather than built-forms, meaning textures and colours were required to work in perfect cohesion. Mounds of undulating Japanese buxus shrubs flank the front path and lend a sculptural element, while remaining green all year round. Tall stalks of purple ivia ‘mystic spires’ supply height behind the ground covers, low-lying hydrangeas lend a delicate touch to the palette, and pink coneflowers give a burst of seasonal colour at the height of summer!

‘The clipped buxus contrasts with the burst of softness in the perennials,’ says Bethany. ‘The soft foliage of the silver birches contrasts the round, smoothness of the pebbles. The texture of the pavers next to the creeping groundcover of star jasmine sit comfortably with each other.’ This garden is all about variation.

Working in tandem with the heritage home facade, this generous project is one for the whole street to enjoy!

Keen as a bean to see more of Bethany’s projects? See them all here!

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