Project Overview

Jamie, owner of Hills Classic Gardens designs his own modern cottage garden for him and his family which doubles as a showcase for his clients.


Project Details

Having designed and constructed garden’s since 1991,  Wellswood Cottage, located in Aldgate has been the biggest and most challenging project l have ever undertaken. There is a multitude of reasons for this but the crux of the difficulty is because Wellswood Cottage is my own property.

The concept and design process began in 2004 and l wanted to achieve two main objective initially. Firstly and most importantly l wanted to create a garden that expressed my specific tastes in plants and materials that would result in a garden that embodied me as a designer and landscaper. Secondly l wanted to create a garden that l could show my prospective clients around so they could visualise specific items, features and structures etc that they may not be able to comprehend from looking at a plan. This meant l needed a lot of different elements in the garden and I would need to design it carefully so the overall feel of the garden was cohesive and not disjointed.

Wellswood Cottage could be simply described as a modern cottage garden. I have a deep seeded love of perennial plants which feature throughout . Most of the gardens l design and build have a grounded feel as l love to use ‘Earthy’ materials such as wood, stone and steel in the construction. 

Wellswood Cottage certainly embodies these elements with significant dry stone walls, steps and stone features such as the wood oven. There are a number of recycled timbers structures like the Chook House, Jarrah boardwalk, Vertical Sleeper walls and the Pergola. Lastly l have designed and commissioned a blacksmith to create a number of bespoke steel features such as my mini Singaporean Super Tree Rose Arbour, Espaliered Grape Frame and Espaliered Silver Pear Feature. 

Although Wellswood Cottage takes on the persona of a cottage garden, it has allowed me to experiment with new ideas, concepts and technology. We have installed an elaborate low voltage LED Lighting system throughout the garden which enables the whole property to come alive and transform after dark. There is a wireless sound system that can be used to set a mood when anyone is on the property. We also have a state of the art, predictive  irrigation system that is live and taps into the Bureau of Meteorology through satellites. These system are operated from an app on your phone and are designed to only give the garden as much water as it needs and no more, saving the householder money on their water bill.  

The hard landscaping of Wellswood Cottage would finally be complete in 2020. The project as a whole has stopped and started since 2005 and as tempting as it was to consolidate and adopt some easy and quick finishing solutions, l’m pleased l stuck it out and completed the project as thoroughly as we do for our clients. Even though I work all week in other peoples gardens l enjoy nothing more that ‘playing’ in my own garden at the weekend which relaxes me and gives me the space l need to recharge.


I love being in my beautiful garden and this gives me an understanding and insight to what my own clients get to enjoy after we have completed gardens for them.It was open to the public in November 2022 raising almost $3000.00 for the Flinders Medical Centre Neonatal Unit. Our garden was recently featured in a number of publications including  SA Life October 2022 edition, Hills Wanderer, and also showcased on recent episodes of Hello SA channel 9 and ABC’s Gardening Australia.

Master Landscapers SA Awards of Excellence Winner
Residential Landscape Design in it’s category
Residential Landscape Construction in it’s category
Residential Landscape Maintenance
Individual Landscape Feature
Judges Choice Award

Our Favourite Elements

  • Predictive irrigation system, linked to Bureau of Meteorology through satellites
  • Low Voltage LED lighting throughout the entire garden
  • Wireless sound system throughout the garden
  • Bespoke garden sculptures
Garden Design Plans (PDF 704KB)