There are 5 distinctively different gardens within this suburban block in Petersham. The designer takes the visitor on a journey through them, cleverly transitioning from plants appropriate to a grand Victorian terrace facade to a traditional Japanese Zen garden at the back.
The front garden is a modern mixture of Oriental and Victorian. The bold house colours led to the plant selection of Purple-leafed Plum, dwarf Nandina, Black Mondo Grass and Ajuga which enhance the front entrance to the house, and make it notably different from other houses in the street.
The side passageway is heavily shaded with large existing Liquidambers and Japanese Maples. A stepping stone path in Wistow Stones was constructed, soil improved and irrigation installed so a selection of Ferns, Camellia Sasanquas, Azaleas, Korean Box, Liriopes, Native Violets and Ardisia could be planted.
A semi-circular raised platform level with the kitchen and dining area is the feature of the main courtyard, constructed again with Wistow Stone and curved ribbons of black cobblestones. Semi-mature Clumping Bamboo in five varieties has been installed close to the boundary for screening. To create intimacy in the garden a Javanese Water Bowl was installed, surrounded by planting of Ixora and Gardenias along with the client's Happy Buddha.
Seen from a floating paved area of granite slabs, the water garden has multi-cascading waterfalls io a pond set with hillside and screen planting. There is a small seating area with a unique table made from Wistow Stone.
The roof garden reflects the theme for the house - The garden in the Clouds. Being a Zen garden of ‘the journey from the mountains to the sea’ the final garden area includes symbolic rocks and water, symbolised by white gravel, with clouds and a granite bridge. There are many cloud trees in this area including Kaizuki Juniper, Japanese Black Pine, Buddhist Pine, Raphiolepis, Eleagnus and Japanese Box. The philosophy of this roof garden alludes to the Sung Dynasty saying of the Poet in the Mountains .... “I am one with clouds lingering around mountain peaks".