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This Lush Garden Channels An Italian Villa, In Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs!

Gardens

Tim and Sarah Lincoln were fortunate to both grow up on large properties with open space, and they shared a deep desire to create this same lifestyle for their own family. 

Working with Plume Studio and numerous contractors over many years, they’ve created a lush suburban garden incorporating a pool, tennis court, vegetable garden, mini orchard and rambling lawns with towering established trees, at their Tuscan-inspired home in Donvale, Melbourne. 

What was once an ‘overgrown mess’ is now a peaceful outdoor haven that Tim and Sarah stop to appreciate every single day.

10th January, 2023

Tim and Sarah Lincoln’s Donvale garden. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

‘Our absolute favourite part of our garden is the Boston ivy that covers the whole front of the house and portico and also covers our pool house and pergola,’ says Sarah. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Tom and Sarah with their dog Reuben. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The lush garden surrounds a pool and multiple entertaining areas. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The planting palette is diverse, encompassing silver birches, oak trees, Japanese maples, crepe myrtles, forest pansies, native shrubs, and clivias. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

A combination of timber decking and stone pavers adds an earthy feel to the landscape, while visually tying together each zone. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Contractors were on site for many years creating the garden. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The fire pit area. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The garden includes a mini orchard. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Raised vegetable beds. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The tennis court. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Tim and Sarah now regularly employ gardeners for maintenance, but enjoy planting new flowers and adding new pots and ornaments to give the garden character. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Stairs leading up to the Tuscan-inspired house. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Tim and Sarah garden is best appreciated in summer, just before dusk, when there’s a little warmth in the air and the colours of the flowers are most exaggerated. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 10th January 2023

‘We wanted to immerse ourselves in nature, create a peaceful environment, and create the property of our dreams’  – Sarah Lincoln.

Tim and Sarah Lincoln’s childhoods (spent in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Vermont, and regional Victoria respectively) provided them with plenty of space to play and explore, so they set about creating a similar setting for their own family.

The nature-loving pair began tending to their Donvale garden (located about 20 kilometres east of Melbourne’s CBD) 10 years ago, working with Heath Blair from Plume Studio to design the sprawling outdoor space. The vision was to continue establishing the existing backyard, while overhauling the front.

‘The whole front yard as we entered up the driveway was bush and really just an overgrown mess that was in need of much love and total redesign,’ says Sarah. ‘We wanted to immerse ourselves in nature, create a peaceful environment, and create the property of our dreams where not only we could enjoy it, but our friends and family also.’

The garden today is an established, multi-zoned area inclusive of a 70 metre lawn. The planting palette is diverse, encompassing silver birches, oak trees, Japanese maples, crepe myrtles, forest pansies, native shrubs, and clivias. It’s also a productive garden, containing raised boxes for vegetables. as well as a mini orchard. 

‘Our absolute favourite part of our garden is the Boston ivy that covers the whole front of the house and portico and also covers our pool house and pergola,’ says Sarah. ‘It climbs up our wrought iron window grilles which looks stunning and changes from green to red in the autumn months.’

A combination of timber decking and stone pavers adds an earthy feel to the landscape, while visually tying together each zone. 

Tim and Sarah now regularly employ gardeners for maintenance, but enjoy planting new flowers themselves, and adding new pots and ornaments to give the garden character. 

They say the garden is best appreciated in summer, just before dusk, when there’s a little warmth in the air and the colours of the flowers are most exaggerated. 

‘We love listening to the birds, especially the kookaburras, and we have plenty of lovely rosellas and a few resident blue tongue lizards that sun bake out on the bluestone pavers by the pool and head underneath the rocks by the garden for shelter,’ says Sarah.

‘It really is our sanctuary.’

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net