By DAVID SCHOUT and CAMERON LUCADOU-WELLS
THE designers of Keysborough’s distinct Somerville estate garden have taken out a Victorian Landscape award.
The ‘Reflections’ garden, designed and constructed by TLC design in conjunction with landscape gardener Wes Fleming, won the ‘feature in the landscape’ category at the recent awards.
Judges said the garden was perfectly designed in a difficult area.
“There are many constraints to consider when designing entrance statements for housing estates,” one judge said.
“Make it too small and it goes unnoticed, too big and it might just make people think you are trying to compensate for something.”
The brief was for a ‘Chelsea garden’ not a traditional Australian garden, TLC design manager Darin Bradbury said.
Mr Bradbury, who grew up in Keys-borough, remembers the site when it was market gardens.
He said the natural materials used in the design took their cue from the surrounding environment.
Mr Fleming, an award-winning landscaper, distinctly wanted to use exotic plants rather than natives for the garden.
“A lot of talk about natives being more drought-resistant is a load of hogwash,” he said.
“There are a lot of hot and dry places all over the world. Once established, plants will adapt to the environment.
“Exotic trees are more drought-tolerant. When under stress, they go into hibernation and lose their foliage.
“Natives don’t go into hibernation and more of them die.”
The figure-eight-shaped garden is set next to a water feature, and a spiralling timber and stone structure designed by TLC.
The use of seasonal blossoming trees means the garden is a constantly changing entity.
TLC director Scott Wynd said the “unorthodox” design was “already having a positive flow-on effect for [Keysborough] residents”.