Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mediterranean Style

Last week I took time out of my busy-ness to post a sneak peek of what I've been busy with... and also shared some of my favourite outdoor spaces with you that I had found in various Home & Garden magazines. One of the spaces I showed belonged to a garden I said was worthy of its own post because the whole garden is just so beautiful... and so today, as I am feeling a little drained and need to take time out from manual labour, I am going to share that garden with you.

This article appeared in Your Garden magazine, Summer 2007 eidition (pp. 30-37) - written by Christine Reid and photographed by Dan Magree:


 Excuse the image but it's a double page spread and so you can see the join...

Above: I just LOVE this - walled gardens with the framed walkways, all that beautiful solid, rustic timber against rendered walls and plants everywhere to soften the edges and draw your attention.

The owner, Robert Boyle, is a landscape designer. He and his wife, Wendy, purchased the property in the heart of Eltham with a view to having the space for the landscaping business and adjoining nursery.

The dreary brown brick 1970's era house has been transformed into a stylish home by rendering the brick and painting it white. Their aim was to maintain the heritage character of the property as there was also a little mud-brick cottage on it that was used as part of the nursery. Roberts interest in Mediterranean garden culture was inspired by a trip to Italy and France in 1997 but his own was created in a very clever Australian context.

This is definitely a favourite garden of mine and it would be nice to have the space to create walled gardens, courtyards and shady verandahs... don't you just love to daydream!

At the moment, however, sections of my garden look more like this!
Above: this crack in the concrete was there when I came here. This is just outside the back of the garage... and if you see the image Below, you will see that at some stage someone has cut the post away and re-positioned it as the concrete was falling away (downwards) and taking the post with it... and the post supports the balcony above it.
Above: the post is not in view but is in the bottom left-hand corner of this image and they are the big double doors at the back of the garage. 

I hired a jackhammer from Kennards and did this myself!!! It took 3 hrs just to break up that section and hopefully only another 3 hrs to do the last bit... but a much cheaper option than having someone come and do it for you. Sometimes though I wish I had the money to just pay people to do stuff for me... one day! I won't be concreting here again, it will be a mix of railway sleepers with gravel in-between and either a small timber deck or paving. It is going to look SO much nicer than this awful cracked and patched concrete. I can't wait to finish it (and don't worry there is a massive temporary structure holding the balcony up while I jackhammer around that post which will be set on a new concrete pad once the old stuff is out of the way).

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Updates from the back garden..

Everything always takes longer than what you think...

I've been busy these past few weeks (or more) catching up with unfinished things around the garden and inside the home... lots of small jobs and things that have been hanging around far too long.

If any of you have been following my garden transformation you may well know that the back yard had been static for quite some time and I couldn't seem to push past into the next stage... so I just made myself and it's coming along beautifully. I'll be posting lots of images once it's all done but here is a sneak peek of one of the things that is finally being finished...

I'm currently having the 'pavillion' down the back of the garden finished. I had the brick piers constructed a few years ago and also had most of the timber, mostly from eBay (good for the purse and for recycling) but I just never got around to getting someone to do it for me... until now. I'll have to find a way to hide the metal brackets at the base of the timber posts... maybe just paint them brown. I stained all the timber before it went up, much easier. There are two more upright posts to put up on the right, with the horizontals as well and then it's all done - yay!

I'm also thinking of solutions for the 'pond' - you can see it there with the timber across it. They are ready-made screens from Bunnings that work just as well horizontally but they aren't wide enough to cover the whole pond... that is to say if I want to delay making the pond a pond and just use it as seating for now. I have some ideas and all will be revealed when it's all done.

I love outdoor rooms and thought I'd share a few favourites with you that I've found along the way, looking through house and garden magazines.

Above: This is from a fabulous '70's book titled 'Landscaping Your Home' by Summit Books.

Australian Interiors, April / May 2004 pg 100 - Photography: Mark Roper

Above: I like how this structure comes off the back of the house, connecting the space to it... and the lovely detail of the flowers growing at the base of the posts.

Australian Home Beautiful, March 2007 pg 24 - Photography: Derek Swalwell (image spread over two pages which is why you can see the join)

Above: I LOVE this whole house but am just sharing their take on the outdoor room. I think that recycled timber structure is just divine.. nothing like the patina of age.

Above: Australian House and Garden, November 2007 pg 160 - Photography: Simon Griffiths

Your Garden, Summer 2007 pg 31 - Photography: Dan Magree

Above: This whole garden is magnificent and worthy of its own post which I will do next time but this image shows a beautiful outdoor room off the house, merging with the garden. I love how the boundary is blurred, not so evident where one stops and one starts...

...same magazine and story as the image above...

Above: Yet another divine outdoor space from the same property as the image above this one. Can't you just imagine long lazy lunches in the cool of this verandah with the drapes gently billowing in the warm summer breeze.

Australian Home Beautiful, September 2006 pg 101 - Photography: Juan Hitters / Sur Press

Above: This is another great outdoor space... love how they've incorporated a fireplace and nice comfy lounges - how cozy! and love that little people have been included in the equation with those gorgeous chairs for them to sit on and join in.

 Above: Australian Home Beautiful, September 2006 pg 39 - Photograph: (unknown)

 Homes and Gardens, August 1998, No. 2 Vol 80 - Photography Nicolas Bruant

Above: How divine is this outdoor space! This really speaks to me but would definitely not fit with my current style and although I have an eclectic approach to design I think you need to keep within a certain range - the rest of this place would have to be similarly exotic to match this space.

 Inside Out Jan / Feb 2005, pg 120 / 121 - Photography: Alexis Armanet / MCM / Picture Media (image spread over two pages which is why you can see the join)

Above: Continuing on from the exotic feel of the image above this one... pretty nice space don't you think. It looks so comfortable with all those cushions. This is definitely somewhere I would love to spend time with friends, good food and good wine :)

 Marie Claire Lifestyle Australia, No. 8 Summer 2000, Photography Geoff Lung

Above: This very bohemian space is just like a magnet for me... so cool, so cozy looking. No need to get up from this table once the meal is finished... a great place to relax.

Homes and Gardens, August 1998 pg 51 - Photography (unknown)

Above: This article was actually written by Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, it's about how to make your outdoor space portable, so that when you move you can take it with you - pretty good solution don't you think and I particularly like the space in the bottom image... very cozy indeed!

 Inspirational Backyard Ideas, Vol 2 No. 3 pg 55 - Photography Malcolm Graves, Tony Potter or Jay Stevens

... and to finish off... this is a more solid structure than those above, made out of stone and more like a little cottage than the timber pavilions above but nonetheless a great outdoor room - though I would furnish it much differently and make it much more inviting.

I hope you like the images and they've inspired you to create or re-decorate an outdoor room. Even though it's nearly winter here now these spaces can still be enjoyed in the right weather conditions, i.e. if they're sheltered and get lots of lovely afternoon sun.

Stay tuned for when I pop back with more images of my own back yard transformation.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Selections : 12

I've been busy all day and am just getting around to do my Sunday Selections now. I can't believe it's been 3 months since I started... and this may well be my last Sunday Selections for a while, at least for a few weeks, as at the moment I have my hands full and have some pressing things I want to and need to get done. So it seems appropriate that I have come to the end of my European series images and will leave you with some of Switzerland.


The last few really made me feel like I was in the sound of music! I can't even recall the name of the place but Daniel and I were driving from Germany through to Italy, heading towards Lake Como, so we were on that road and turned off to the right to find a place to stop for the night. We stumbled across this delightful little village at the bottom of this mountain and the next day Daniel wanted to go up via cable car. Seriously! This cable car in the middle of nowhere, with animals in the paddock and barely any signs of modern life anywhere. I was very reluctant because I wondered who would maintain such a thing but eventually I built up the courage and it was well worth it. It was so beautiful up there... and guess what... after a big walk... we found a road that wound it's way back down to our little village and so I didn't have to trust the cable car again... phew!

Anyway, I may join in again in the not-too-distant future if it is still going but it's been wonderful adventure so far and I've enjoyed meeting new people online and seeing some amazing photography... and all thanks to Kim over at Frogpondsrock, so head on over if you want to join in.