It’s uncommon to think of a family garden without a lawn, but when you’ve got limited space and many other functions for your garden to perform – something’s gotta go!
The Sharp Street garden by Peachy Green contains an outdoor dining area where there would usually be a patch of grass. The shaded enclave houses built-in seating, a barbeque and pizza oven under a pergola, adjacent to a new bike shed which opens out onto the back lane.
This functional structure at the rear of the site is made of solid brick, anchoring the layout against the abundance of foliage, and drawing visitors to the back of the garden. Despite serving this weighty purpose, greenery drapes the structure, deliberately softening its architectural lines – a key technique used throughout the design. A wild, pastel palette sees mauves, dusty pinks, lemon yellows, and silvery blues sprinkled through the evergreen base.
The biggest challenge? When to stop planting!
‘Together with the client, we wanted to create a Piet Oudolf-style planting scheme incorporating our flowering Aussie natives,’ says landscape architect Frances Hale of her textural design. The famed Dutch garden designer is a leading figure in the New Perennial movement, pioneering a new type of residential landscaping that emulates the wild way plants grow naturally. He emphasises the use of ‘drifts’: planting grasses or flowers in groups of three or more rather than continuous, contained beds. These pockets create bursts of colour, shape and texture throughout a garden, something Frances was keen to employ here, to achieve a loose and wild character.
In this garden, lush and feathery plantings are layered with dense ground covers such as kidney weed, sprouting from in between large steppers from the Port Fairy Bamstone Bluestone Quarry. Trees anchor the space, with maturing eucalypts, acacia and maples creating a dappled shade canopy that will change with the seasons.
Frances describes the end result as a wild and personality-filled space. ‘It’s a gardener’s garden, full of mixed ornamental grasses, flowering perennials and woody, meadow-style natives and shady trees,’ she says. ‘The lawn-free space is natural, loose, fun, playful with relaxed places to sit.’ Peachy perfect!
See more projects from Peachy Green here.