An Inviting Perennial Garden For A Prefabricated Melbourne Home

An Inviting Perennial Garden For A Prefabricated Melbourne Home


by Christina Karras

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The view of the pool in the corner of the backyard.

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Industrial-scaled concrete pipes feature the productive vegetable and herb gardens.

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Except for the existing shed, almost the entire garden has been newly created by Andy Murray Landscape Design.

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Campanula garganica (Adriatic bellflower) line the edge of the pool.

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The perennial planting is visible from inside the house.

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Echinacea pallida (purple coneflower).

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Acid-etched concrete is used throughout the garden.

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The steps are softened by leafy green foliage.

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‘The overall theme was intended to be grey muted and neutral to highlight the planting,’ Andy says.

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The view from the living room.

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Large vesicular basalt boulders and grey gravel line the entryway.

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On a suburban block in Northcote, you’ll find a prefabricated home by Modscape enveloped in plants at every turn.

Not only does it feature an inviting front garden with grasses that enhance the geometric architecture, and a lush backyard filled with perennial plants, but greenery has been woven throughout the house itself, sprouting up in recessed courtyards, walkways, and around curved walls.

It’s the work of Andy Murray Landscape Design, who says the 600-square-metre property was intentionally designed to celebrate a garden. And it’s come a long way since he first visited the site, completely transforming it from a mismatch of ‘miscellaneous vegetation’ and ‘very neglected overgrown fruit trees’.

‘The layout of the garden is a combination of structured and functional zones that are connected by loose pathways and softened by planting,’ Andy says. ‘I tried to create variations on themes from front to back, so you are taken on a journey through the garden as it unfolds.’

At the rear, the living room looks out to a large Blackbutt timber deck on the lower level of the backyard, complete with stretches of diverse and textural plantings that combine to create a calming, leafy outlook.

A set of concrete stairs leads to an elevated area, featuring raised vegetable gardens, fruit trees, a concrete pad for basketball, and even a pool lined with fluffy grass.

‘I wanted the garden to almost have an oversized industrial feeling to some degree, with simple materials and no paving, so the plants can be the main event,’ Andy says. ‘In nature, I always love the narrow pathways we wear into tracks in vegetation and wanted to create this feeling.’

He also intentionally over-planted a ‘prolific creeper’ called Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper) at ground and fence level to help cover the walls around the perimeter in foliage, and focused on perennials for the planting scheme.

Happy yellow hues, pinks, blues and tall stems of Echinacea pallida (purple coneflower) are dotted around the diverse sea of green, which looks beautiful all year round.

‘This type of planting is great because I feel you are really getting many gardens within one,’ Andy adds. ‘The changes from week to week over the growing season are really spectacular.’

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