Project Overview

Designing a garden around a beautiful huge oak tree.


Project Details

When approached by the owners of Claremont to redesign an area in the middle of an established well maintained and beautiful Hills Garden, I realised this wouldn’t be an easy undertaking. 

The area that needed our attention was a struggling lawn under the drip zone of a huge oak tree. Besides having a blank canvas where the lawn was, I had to come up with a design that would be sympathetic to the health and root zone of the huge old oak tree, so as not to cause it any detriment in the future with our hard landscaping. Secondly the new garden had to be designed and constructed so it would fit into the existing garden and landscape. 

The materials and plants that we chose to use in the design were borrowed from what was already there in the garden, so we sought to keep the aesthetic appeal of the garden with this continuity. Implementation and plantings simply gave a slightly more modern feel without taking away or contrasting from the surrounds.

 I knew I couldn’t construct big areas of paving with concrete slabs or even flexible paving that would direct water away and compact the roots of the oak tree so I designed the stone pathways to enable water to penetrate through the joints. This particular stone was specifically ordered to be large and thin this meant it was going to be stable enough to walk on without dislodging from the individual mortar beds and it also meant I didn’t need to excavate too deeply disturbing the roots of the oak. The stone took 3 months for the owner of the Wistow quarry to collect for me, as it’s large size and thickness aren’t common but I knew the wait was going to be worth it. 

I wanted to visually tie in the lawn at the end of the path visually with the path and the rest of the garden. I designed a meandering swathe of Dwarf Mondo grass to snake it’s way from the lawn through the stone path. As it establishes, It will dually soften the stone and link the lawn through as you enter from the car park. 

Finally we designed the lighting system with assistance of Troy from LED Outdoor and his fantastic range of Led outdoor lights, as it is a thoroughfare from the car park to the house. It was important for our clients to safely walk through there at night and also enjoy the beautiful oak tree and new garden beyond daylight hours.


This beautiful garden earned the 2016 Master Landscapers of SA award of excellence for construction in it’s category.

Our Favourite Elements

  • Bespoke stone pathways from Wistow Quarry
  • Custom low voltage LED lighting system
  • Garden design planned around Oak Tree root system
Garden Design Plans (PDF 176KB)