'Woodcote', in Melbourne's Outer East, is the private garden and residence of Sandra McMahon and architect Warwick Sheffield, and is inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement, with references also to the work of Edna Walling, whose Bickleigh Vale village is in neighbouring Mooroolbark.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful"...
The maxim of William Morris might apply equally well to a garden.
It is an informal 'garden of rooms', set on half an acre, and created over the past six years around several large existing trees and a 1950's weatherboard house which has been totally remodelled and enlarged, using recycled timber and 'green' architectural principles.
The emphasis is on plant material for structure, and the garden showcases a very broad range of plants.
The Australian plant garden at the front casually segues into a Japanese-inspired stroll garden, thence across a billabong to a woodland garden, featuring a copse of Nyssa sylvatica, and plantings of Prairie perennials and grasses.
Other areas include a Rose Garden, small orchard and vegetable garden, raspberry plot and fernery.
In all of this, much thought has been given to transition zones and avoiding any sudden changes in mood, in order that the flow is seamless. There is a sense of unity in the whole, despite its diverse parts.
Arts & Crafts inspired makeover of a 1950's weatherboard house with large garden of rooms featuring emphasis on plants for structure
Native garden design inspired by Victorian High Country landscapes.
William Morris meets Australian native garden design
Stunning native garden design evokes a High Country landscape
Native paper daisies give a stunning display twelve months of the year
Native plants respond as well as Box to clipping and shaping!
Pebble and roof tiles suggest a stream, yet provide a good surface for a path
Use of pebbles suggests water in Japanese-inspired garden
North American perennials and grasses provide the understorey in the woodland garden
Echinacea purpurea and Agastache 'Sweet Lily' in a woodland setting
Skilful colour design is central to the garden designs of Sandra McMahon
Beautifully designed multi-level decks provide seamless transition into the garden
Designing with foliage colours and textures.
Sequential planting is the key to year-round interest in a garden.
Evocative use of recycled artefacts suggests a 'past' in a garden. Combination of silver and white foliage provides an element of unity in these plantings.
We design sympathetic structures for the garden. Here a shed built entirely of recycled material sits timelessly in a perfect setting.
A rose garden full of expertly selected varieties and perennials, all suited to local conditions.
Luscious combinations of roses and irises.
Spectacular combination of roses and perennials. Expert plant selection for local conditions is essential.
The David Austin rose 'Tamora'.
A garden is a place of escape: elements of mystery and surprise are essential.
Well designed hard landscaping and sculptural elements contribute to the seamless integration of building and landscape.
Filming of the garden for the ABC's Gardening Australia. The segment may be seen here in the Media section.