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

Gardens

The garden accompanying this Federation home in Mosman, Sydney was already beautiful and grand, but the design needed consolidating to suit the modern day. 

Following a string of designers who worked on the garden in the past 100 years (the most recent being Peter Fudge), Wyer & Co stepped in to improve the functionality of the space. 

The landscape designers have since updated the extensive 1412 square metre garden, tying it all together with a varied plant palette.

1st February, 2021

This grand Mosman garden was recently update for improved functionality by  Wyer & Co. Photo – Nicholas Watt

The garden is a cumulative effort from a number of designers over a one-hundred-year period and was originally built as a series of ‘garden rooms’. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Fundamentally, the brief called for greater privacy and functionality of the garden. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Fundamentally, the brief called for greater privacy and functionality of the garden. Photo – Nicholas Watt

The entire property stretches over 2000 square metres, meaning certain areas or ‘rooms’ within the garden experience their own unique climatic conditions. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Symmetry and form have been celebrated, as well as the wraparound verandah, now enfolded with layers of greenery. Photo – Nicholas Watt

The Federation home sits respectfully within this verdant landscape. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Ficus hedging planted on entry helps shelter the property from the street. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Sweeping driveways and hidden paths encourage exploration. Photo – Nicholas Watt

This distinguished garden is an element of its age and history. Photo – Nicholas Watt

Amelia Barnes
Monday 1st February 2021

‘…It is a reflection of how gardening was approached at the time: a collective of beautiful, interesting, and unique specimens.’ – Anthony Wyer

Mosman Grounds represents the cumulative effort of several landscape designers over a 100 year period. 

Originally built as a series of ‘garden rooms’, Wyer & Co were most recently engaged to update the space for better functionality, privacy and flow. 

‘The landscape had retained adequate structure, but had been let go over the years,’ explains Anthony Wyer, landscape designer and creative director of Wyer & Co.

Upon visiting the garden for the first time, Anthony immediately determined what the space needed to be. ‘This was influenced by the architecture and the era of the build, but it is also a reflection of how gardening was approached at the time: a collective of beautiful, interesting, and unique specimens,’ he says.

Anthony’s vision – a complete overhaul of the garden’s underplanting around the existing mature trees. ‘This provided an opportunity for the client to make their own mark on the garden, without the time or cost needed to replace mature planting,’ he says.

A variety of new mid and low-level planting was introduced, encompassing a mix of native and exotic plant species rich in colour and foliage. 

Because of the expansive 1412 square metre grounds, certain areas experience their own climatic conditions, requiring special attention. ‘The challenge or skill lies in specifying a plant palette that is not only appropriate for these conditions but is also cohesive and visually interesting,’ Anthony says.

New Ficus hedging planted on entry helps shelter the property from the street. Meanwhile, previously disconnected spaces at the rear were stripped back, and a new level lawn was installed for entertaining.

Privacy concerns by the pool were addressed by planting new established trees, including Magnolia grandiflora ‘Exmouth’, Morus alba ‘Pendula’,​ and ​Betula nigra​ (river birch), which were craned in to complement the existing scheme. 

This distinguished garden is an element of its age and history. Similar to a botanical garden, it has been borrowed, developed, and passed on through the generations. ‘We are proud to have contributed to it,’ Anthony says.

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net