A Blooming Suburban Garden For An Edwardian Family Home

A Blooming Suburban Garden For An Edwardian Family Home

A Blooming Suburban Garden For An Edwardian Family Home


by Christina Karras

The shrubs in the front garden feature Cotinus ‘Grace’ (smoke bush), Plectranthus argentatus, (silver spurflower), Plectranthus ‘Velvet Elvis’, and Bartlettina sordida (large mist flower).

Bluestone pavers are softened by flowering perennials like Achillea ‘Terracotta’ (yarrow) and Liriope muscari (lily-turf).

Miscanthus ‘Klein Fontaine’, Salvia leucantha (Mexican sage) and Viola hederacea (native violet) also provide grassy foilage.


The rear backyard. Lagerstroemia indica ‘Natchez’ (white crepe myrtle) serves as a feature tree.

Parthenocissis quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) grows across the pergola structure.

The home’s entrance is tucked away on the side of the house.

Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese laurel) has been used for the boundary heading, alongside Tristaniopsis ‘Luscious’ (water gum) trees for screening.

BWLA director Bethany Williamson says the owners of this renovated Ivanhoe home engaged her with the same ‘wishlist’ she often receives from her clients with young families.

‘It’s really centred around creating functional spaces, with low-maintenance plants,’ Bethany says. ‘We hear it all the time, so our job is to really solve the functional brief and then focus on the materials, details, and plant selection to make it look spectacular!’

The clients were extending the rear of their Edwardian property and initially tasked BWLA with designing a new rear garden, before also deciding to redesign the front landscaping part way through the build.

Bethany looked to the house itself for inspiration, creating two distinctive gardens that perfectly reflected the renovation’s mash-up of old and new.

‘The front garden has a more traditional feel to it in line with the front of the house being an existing weatherboard, whereas the rear garden has a more contemporary feel,’ she adds.

A classic open lawn makes up most of the front yard, broken up only by bluestone steppers and flowering perennials that line the pathway to the front door of the house. Species like Achillea ‘Terracotta’ (yarrow) and Liriope muscari (lily-turf) bring pops of rusty orange, purples, and pinks amongst the soft leaves of Stachys byzantine (Lamb’s ear).

In contrast, the backyard is much more relaxed. Glass doors open the living room to an outdoor deck and a large window seat frames a perfect view over the swimming pool.

Bethany says it’s quite a ‘simple’, made up of screening plants for privacy on the boundaries and a stretch of grass for the kids to play.

‘The detail and interest come in with the materials and plant selection,’ she adds. ‘The main planting along the pool fence was designed to have maximum views from the house and also soften the various structures in the back garden.’

A grassy mix of Crassula undulata (curly Jade) and Osmanthus ‘Heaven Scent’ bring various shades of green to the landscape, and a climbing plant Parthenocissis quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) has already begun to envelop the pergola.

It’s still early days for the garden, but Bethany says it’s already been showing signs of beauty as it continues to grow. And most importantly, it’s a space where there’s something for the whole family.