In 2011 I completed this landscape in the front yard of a friends house in Kew. The yard is shaded by some very large Lemon Scented Gums and was previously filled with shaded out native trees and shrubs, rendering the space unusable. The basic idea here was to create a lush under-story and have a functional garden under the canopy of these huge trees, while ensuring the trees have a long life also. My friends wanted a space which was both fun for their kids and was still a welcoming and attratctive front entrance to their house. This project was completed with their help as well as with some water system help from Raphael Schouten.
After clearing the space of most of the under-story, we created a wet/dry creek bed, which runs off storm water into the property. Such that when ever it rains water flows through the system soaking into basins along the way, and back to storm water again. A beach of granitic sand leads down to the river bend which can be crossed over a bridge of large rocks.
A branch of one of the Gums was blocking out a large portion of valuable winter sun. This branch was removed and recycled into the pyramid feature/play equipment which you can see here.
Further more the jetty boardwalk was constructed out of painstakingly dismantled timber from the old front gate, and doubles as a bench seat for adults and kids alike.
The owners built the cubby house (which has since been converted to a chook house for their recently added bantam chickens!).
The under-story of shade tolerant native trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials and tree ferns which we planted have flourished in the rainforest like conditions created. One year on...
...and now today: