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).