CAMBERWELL PROJECT


This corner site presented as a roughly square, nearly level front garden that was fully exposed to the street on two sides. The client wanted to increase their privacy without screening off completely. There were several existing trees and shrubs, none of which were worth retaining, and a mature Canary Island Date Palm in the centre of the space that the client did want to retain. Her brief was to create a rambling, wild, English-style garden and an open lawn space with sufficient paving for entertaining.

A curved border around the mature palm defined a central lawn area; beds adjacent to the house and western fence line followed these straight lines. To effect the desired screening from the main road a mixture of hardy flowering evergreen shrubs, deciduous feature trees and architectural foliage plants were combined in layers. None could exceed five metres in height due to adjacent powerlines. Sinuous paths wander through the deepest parts of the garden beds to enable access and to immerse oneself in the planted space.

A custom made, oversize iron arbour supports a heavily scented Wisteria; once the remainder of the garden has grown this will look more in scale. A rectilinear paved space adjacent to the verandah and front path is big enough for a dining table and chairs, or standing space for twenty. South facing garden beds adjacent to the house are filled with shade tolerant ferns, Japanese Maples and other foliage plants.

Again, scented species have been selected and placed near windows and paths for optimal effect. As well as choosing plants that are easily propagated to fill in gaps, it was recommended that the whole site be oversewn with self-seeding annuals and perennials, to further encourage the chaotic, intermingling effect desired.