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 Super Swish Suburban Front Garden

Gardens

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!

10th February, 2021

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
Wednesday 10th February 2021

‘‘The design is simple on paper, but the texture and details in the built garden are complex and captivating.’ – Bethany Williamson

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!

This Week

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Homes

An Incredible 1896 Waterfront House, Accessible Only By Boat

Garden designer Richard Unsworth shares ‘Trincomalee’ – his magical 1896 waterfront home in northern Sydney, accessible only by boat.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Sensitive Update For This Grand, 100-Year-Old Garden in Sydney

Numerous landscape designers have tended to this Mosman property over the past century, resulting in a layered, grandiose space.

Gardens

An Equally Functional + Lush Suburban Garden Makeover

The stunning garden of landscape designer and owner of Ballast Landscape, Julian Bombardiere, in Kings Langley, NSW.

Gardens

A Swedish-Inspired Garden In Suburban Melbourne!

Landscape designer Penny Starr creates a garden for all seasons, for a young family in Rosanna, Victoria.

This Week

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!

Homes

An Incredible 1896 Waterfront House, Accessible Only By Boat

Garden designer Richard Unsworth shares ‘Trincomalee’ – his magical 1896 waterfront home in northern Sydney, accessible only by boat.
Lucy Feagins
  23 hours ago

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Sensitive Update For This Grand, 100-Year-Old Garden in Sydney

Numerous landscape designers have tended to this Mosman property over the past century.

Gardens

An Equally Functional + Lush Suburban Garden Makeover

The stunning garden of landscape designer Julian Bombardiere, in Kings Langley, NSW.

Gardens

A Swedish-Inspired Garden In Suburban Melbourne!

Landscape designer Penny Starr creates a garden for all seasons, for a young family in Rosanna, Victoria.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.