There are many things to consider when designing the garden of a Victorian era home. Do you work with the layers of history or start from scratch? Do you reconstruct a period garden or create a garden with a modern aesthetic?
Built in the late 1840s, Chesterfield is one of Geelong's oldest surviving Georgian homes. The current owners, Marry-Jane and Chris, saved the home from the developer’s bulldozer and, over the past few years, have been peeling back some of the less endearing layers of history to reveal an elegant old girl and survivor of a bygone era.
When I first met the owners of this two bedroom flat in a leafy bayside suburb, they were in the middle of major renovations. Most of the floor was missing and many of the walls were in various stages of migration. When they were finished there would be almost nothing left - apart from the front windows - to give any indication of its original 1960’s construction.
When I first stepped on to this site in Hawthorn, I saw a beautiful Victorian home. It had been recently renovated, sympathetic to the period, and the property boundary was sporting a shiny new fence. But something was missing - the garden!
Vicki’s garden is one of my favourites; the garden is divided into three courtyards, each with their own feel and personality. Many of the plants have come from her mother’s garden and have a special meaning.