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Episode 7 - Garden Design Notes

Episode 7: Cindy Robertson, Fairlie


Cindy Robertson definitely eats, breathes and sleeps the great outdoors.  The only problem was that her outdoors had succumbed to the weedkiller and hit and miss attempts in establishing gardens.  I was pleased to have an opportunity to have a discussion with her about how she saw her future for the house and garden.  

Mainlanders are a tight community and Cindy's gates and doors were permanently wedged open for processions of guests.  The only problem was they were limited outdoor space for friends to hangout.   The concrete strips that lead from the street right up to the old garage definitely divided and interfered with the flow from house to garden.  Almost immediately, when they were removed, the balance was once again restored. 

The garage was no longer used for housing cars but was a storage area for children's toys and bikes, so parking and garaging got redefined and positioned at the front of the property.  This was sufficient for quick access to the front door. 

There was still the issue of hauling in the much needed firewood for Winter and now that the double concrete strips were removed I still had to provide  access for vehicles to get as close to the wood storage sheds at the back of the house as possible.  The path only needed to be as wide as that required for the vehicle and end where the house finished on the site. 

To soften this new path Cherry Blossom and Roses immediately changed this utility area into a feature garden.   The old sheds at the back of Cindy's garden of varying shapes and states were simply coloured out by painting them all one colour apart from the children's playhouse right at the end.  

What I wanted to achieve was a blurring of the sheds more so than a backdrop to the newly designed living court.  True to theme, big was the order of the day and Cindy's new courtyard is one of our biggest - gone would be the days of spillover from the tiny space that she once had.    To link the vegetable garden, the children's play area and newly defined storage shed we installed a long pergola structure that helped to delineate the different areas. 

It could be described loosely as the garden rooms - play, rest and entertainment.  All three, plus the entranceway, now all sympathetically connected made it very easy for folk to move around  in and enjoy. 

Cindy had already started with a border planting scheme - the proportions just needed to be increased and the plant numbers beefed up.  The  Winters in Fairlie can be harsh so plant choices had to stand up to the huge climatic variations.  Her only stipulation being colour, colour, colour we had,  as far as I was concerned, ticked all of the boxes.

New turf was installed in place of the dead lawn and with regular attention and watering she would enjoy great long term results.  Cindy's new garden would definitely kick her enthusiasm while still being able to manage a much larger landscaped area.  

Cindy had a list of what she wanted for her new garden and it was important that all of her requirements were not only considered, but met.   

On approaching the house now you are immediately led to the front door which is what an entranceway should do.  As an alternative the newly installed main gates could be opened to invite you down the Cherry Tree walk, through the pergola structure and into the great outdoor room, complete with a Bella Fuego Chiminea fire and large dining table - all under the protection of sails and softened with interesting plants to complement the design.