The Garland Garden

Connecting the senses

We've just done a Spring check-in at the Garland Garden, and thought you might enjoy some more info about the project and how it came about.

Our client had recently renovated her inner-Brisbane home, but knew that her garden remained an underutilised space. A carport structure left by previous owners served a purpose, but was poorly constructed and visually dominant. A trio of palms sat well within the skyline views from the upper level of her house, and contributed some pools of shade to the yard, but not much else.

There was nothing enticing her outside.

She was keen to have a small pool for summer evening dips, herbs for cooking, maybe some flowers and seasonal interest, a small area of lawn for her dogs to play, and a garden that would delight and engage the senses.

Nine months after installation, the Garland Garden is starting to mature.

The circular lawn is raised above the rocky shale of the site, enabling the planting of a ‘garland’ of culinary herbs, scented and flowering groundcovers that forms the heart of the garden.

The old paver path has been replaced with wide shallow steps bordered with scented species including lavender, rosemary and curry plant.

The steps move towards the carport, newly straightened, and enclosed in a skin of dark aluminium battens. Despite its size the garage is now more visually recessive, and suggests a neat and simple shed or stable building nestled amongst the planting.

A long strip of garden beside the garage was home to more shaley soil and minimal vegetation. 

It is now a warm textured court of decomposed gravel and recycled, tumbled sandstone.

The end is marked by a gabion wall, constructed simply from fencing panels filled with broken clay pavers removed from under the house.

Enclosing lattices have been removed from under the existing deck to allow the ground floor of the house to flow out to the garden and new plunge pool.

The plunge pool was prefabricated from a concrete water tank, tiled internally with black mosaic, and then craned into position.

A sunken section, or ha-ha, surrounds the pool, complying with fencing regulations. It is planted with pennisetum which moves  with the breeze and casts beautiful shadows on the untreated concrete pool wall.

 A new decorative ceiling has also been installed under the deck.

Inspired by the texture on an old pane of glass at the front of the house we developed a starburst pattern using hundreds of tiny circles. The ceiling panels are backlit at night, and appear to change colour, moving from silver-grey during the day, to light blue, dark, and almost black at nighttime.

We’ve written about this ceiling before, and you can read that story here.

As you'd expect for such a young garden, the screen planting along the fence boundaries is just starting to get a wriggle on, with vigorous new growth, but the groundcovers have been establishing quickly - the pennisetum has already had its first winter chop back.

The garland itself is also thriving with a mix of textures, scents and colours.

It was a wonderful experience collaborating with our client on the design of this project, and then working with the brilliant team at RAM Constructions who actually brought it all to life.

Our client has just had her first swim of the summer and we look forward to tracking the progress of the Garland Garden over the next year.