Project Overview

Maintaining a large and beautiful hills garden.



Early in 2017, I was asked to take on the garden maintenance at a large property at the end of the street where we live in Aldgate. I had watched for some time this significant house and massive garden emerge from a cleared block and was keen to be involved as the owners has spared no cost to build the house and garden of their dreams. Although the owners Brian and Margaret were from the area, they had spent their lives mostly overseas and more recently living in Queensland. What Brian and Margaret lacked in gardening expertise and knowledge they certainly made up with enthusiasm and a desire to be involved in the establishment of their brand new surrounds. As with all new gardens there is usually a few teething issues and as this garden was so large some of the problems were of the same proportion. Besides the high standard of presentation Brian and Margaret required, we faced some challenges in the form of poorly draining clay soils in areas and contrasting to this some sandy garden beds which had no organic matter in them. Hundreds of tons of sand was carted up by the builder to be used as fill to get the sloping block more level. This sandy part of the property now makes up the large perennial garden below the main lawn . We watched on as many plants such as many Camellias refused to thrive in these zones no matter what we threw at them.  Conversely there were huge numbers of plants and lawn areas trying to survive in their wet clay surrounds in other parts of the property. We have made significant improvements to these two main issues and the general health of the establishing plants and lawns is now much better.

Beyond the regular garden maintenance, lawn management and the continual re planting more suitable species of plants, Brian and Margaret wanted to fine tune and renovate some areas of the property that wasn’t  exactly how they wanted it to be. Having spent a long time living and working in Japan they really loved and appreciated Japanese gardens. So after some discussion we decided the non functional lower lawn would be replaced . Brian built an amazing Pagoda where he and Margaret could sit and view their garden and house from this low vantage point. This was accompanied buy a traditional bridge and then we constructed the Japanese garden over what was the old lawn.


The garden was now finally  establishing and starting to look really good. Brain and Margaret kindly offered to host the launch of the 2019 Open Gardens SA season and all the 150 gardening enthusiasts including Sophie Thomson who was the guest speaker, loved their garden. Sadly not long after the launch Brian passed away from a cancer he had been battling, he was such a kind, thoughtful, generous and lovely man. I’m sure Margaret enjoys sitting in her garden and appreciates all they have accomplished together and their lasting legacy. Im so pleased we had the opportunity to really tailor the garden to suit what Brian and Margaret wanted. We continue to work closely with Margaret and develop her beautiful garden.