This Multi-Functional Melbourne Garden Hides A ‘Mini Food Forest’

After renovating their Brunswick family home, Glendyn Ivin and Natalie Ivin Poole knew they wanted their garden to feel like an extension of their house.

As one of Australia’s leading directors, Glendyn had initially become friends with Clea Cregan when she also worked in film industry, years before she founded her own landscape design business Miniscape Projects. ‘I knew if we were ever to design a garden, it was always going to be with Clea,’ Glendyn says.

When the time came to turn their concrete backyard into a cottage garden, Glendyn was in the middle of working on a TV series ‘The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart’, where much of the story is set on an Australian flower farm.

‘He had been visiting native flower nurseries and was keen to incorporate some of these flowers into the garden,’ Clea says of the inspirations behind the project. ‘Nat was interested in creating a modern potager French style of garden where intermingled vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs were all growing together.’

This set the tone for the garden’s multi-functional design. While the formal front yard showcases a ‘restrained palette of grey and silver foliage’, the back garden becomes less and less structured from the moment you step onto the large deck and pergola covered in Wisteria floribunda (pink wisteria).

Bluestone steppers beside Dichondra repens ground coverings guide you to a firepit area, that also doubles as car space, alongside a raised vegetable garden bursting with seasonal fresh produce. A mini orchard showcases a mix of dwarf and espaliered apple, cherry, plum, peach, and citrus trees.

‘We’ve been exploring using more edibles in our landscapes to create a mini food forest. Dwarf fruit varieties are perfect for small spaces making maintenance tasks like pruning and harvesting easier. And their small size allows you to grow more varieties for even more food production,’ Clea adds.

The garden features numerous sitting areas, each offering unique views back to the house. A stunning pink Lagerstroemia (crepe myrtle) stands as the central feature, surrounded by beds of native Brachyscome daisies (cut-leaf daisies) and exotic plants like salvias, verbena, and foxglove.

Glendyn says dividing the space into different pockets has allowed them to make the most of their small backyard. ‘It makes our house seem bigger, and I love the way it’s framed,’ he explains. ‘The garden has becomes an ever-evolving, shape-shifting sculpture that is never really finished. The joy is watching it evolve and mature over time.’

And the garden has grown so much in the two years since it was first planted, Clea says. The vibrant flower beds have come into their own, contrasting beautifully alongside the shimmering grasses and the black charred timber of the house itself.

‘Wisteria has grown to top of pergola to provide summer shade, and the plants are now creating a rich tapestry of colour,’ she adds proudly. ‘Something is always flowering!’

Want to see more from The Design Files? Sign up to our newsletter for your daily or weekly dose of home and design inspiration. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top