John Richardson Gardens   Garden Design and Construction

House Rill and Wier

These clients wanted an indigenous garden to suit their architect designed house.They needed to be able to visually access the canal at the bottom of the garden as well as get to the pool pump below the pool. They also required a water feature as a centerpiece in the small entrance courtyard at the front of the house. 

The garden consisted of a steep slope from the patio edge down to the canal edge and any concept for this garden would therefore have to address and resolve the issue of soil retention and erosion control before any type of functional garden was to be even remotely possible.This primary function was achieved by creating terraces (to allow at least some level areas for gardening) and a wide path of railway sleeper steps carefully designed and constructed to perform two important functions , firstly to facilitate movement through and interaction with the garden and secondly to hold the soil in place long enough to allow densely planted aggressive-rooting ground covers to root and thereby stabilize the soil on the steep slope.

A second aesthetic function of this particular design was achieved by using all indigenous plants, two clipped hedges and the square lawn to acknowledge and marry the architecture of the house with that of the garden. Certain trees were deciduous so as to provide cool shade in the summer and a water feature added to the courtyard in front to make it more interesting and provide physical and psychological separation between the entrance to the office and that of the house. Beyond all the engineering  functions of the design was a small timber deck at the bottom of the garden; a bench further up the slope as a halfway-down-the-hill chill out spot and a small lawn for that wonderful  'grass- between-your-toes-experience'  that somehow makes adults feel like kids again.

There is an aesthetic similarity between the weir in the canal (visible from the deck at the bottom of the garden) and the water feature at the entrance to the house. And whilst the inspiration for the water feature is the old weir the actual design echoes the contemporary architecture of the house and gives this entrance courtyard a presence and meaning beyond its modest dimensions.   

The garden was handed over in June 2007 and photographed in July 2008 and later.


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Click the image for a view of: Awesome ! Photo by Juanita
Awesome ! Photo by Juanita
Click the image for a view of: Siegmund the Frog in his Mercedes Benz.
Siegmund the Frog in his Mercedes Benz.
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Posted: 7/4/2008 (10:15:47 AM)

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