Sunday, April 26, 2015


This backyard in Alphington was designed by the owner of the house. Having done a design course at college she re-designed her already productive yard into one that would be both productive and conducive to sitting in. I was hired to both consult on the design and then implement it. Most of the hard work was done by Paul Miragliotta and Richard Morrel, in the end.

 I wish I had before shots to show the dramatic difference. Here are some arial shots of the garden before and after:


Essentially, what we did was rearrange many of the existing elements and materials, re-using garden edges and old pavers. Moving from a mostly rectangular arrangement of garden beds, which filled the whole middle of the back yard, paths running in between, to a spiral circular design, imagined by the client.

We converted two large apple boxes to garden beds but also built three large raised wicking beds (see previous posts in 2013 about wicking beds) atop a retaining wall through the middle curve of the spiral, picking up the line from the outer edge of the tear dropped shape bed. 

This bed is where the spiral begins centred on one of two existing apple trees. The s-shaped wall visible in the first aerial shot was pulled up and rebuilt creating the circle you now see around the apple tree.

Once the major construction was complete we went to town on amending the existing soil be decompacting while adding compost, and minerals.

We also intalled a grey water system and irrigation to service all non-wicking garden beds.

Final touches were added like this reclaimed concrete circle in the middle of the open space, which was surfaced with compacted gravel, as were most of the paths.
A pear, a quince, and a black walnut were planted into the gravel area to provide future shade from the summer sun. 


 We returned in the spring in order to plant out some more.

Here is  the same spot as the photo of the grey water and irrigation, and nets over the beds in summer