Garden designer and landscaper Ashley James knows the Eltham landscape inside out, having designed four gardens on the one sought-after Melbourne road.
Clients are drawn to his naturally beautiful and contextual green spaces incorporating stone, faded timbers, reclaimed brick, and romantic plantings.
This Eltham front garden, completed in 2021, epitomises Ashley’s style.
The 2.5 acre property features a generous and exposed front garden around a semi circular driveway. Ashley was tasked with setting the tone of the space, allowing the owners and friends to immerse themselves in the enchanting garden upon entering the property.
The driveway is now surrounded by lush romantic plantings and divided by a central red brick pathway. A rustic timber gate (made from salvaged timber) houses a separate kitchen garden — a signature feature of Ashley James Gardens’ projects — where the clients grow their own produce.
Plants in the main garden include a mixture of cottage perennials, ornamental grasses, and a wildflower meadow sown under the ornamental pear trees.
‘I have framed the garden with evergreen shrubs and deciduous trees, then created pockets of colour throughout,’ Ashley says. ‘My gardens are ever changing with the seasons and invite active engagement and exploration.’
After its completion in 2021, Ashley says the front garden ‘tripled in size’ within three months due to the carefully selected planting palette.
‘Two years on, this garden is well established and looking like a garden that has been here for many years. My favourite part to watch develop is the beautiful climbing roses over the timber arbours.’
Ashley has since designed and constructed a small courtyard on the side of the property, and is currently working with the owners to create a feature garden surrounding the original horse stables also on site.
He says, ‘The garden now tells a story and is ever changing with the seasons, it creates a beautiful welcome to all coming to visit or simply walking past.’
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