This garden hinged around improving outdoor use and production on a minimal budget and with minimal space. It was also important that a significant portion of the already small rear yard was retained as open space for playing children. Recycled materials were used where ever possible to lower costs and provide the garden with a patina and eclectic style. The old concrete laundry tubs became mint beds and old washing machine cylinders became planting containers.
One of the set out principles of the design was to compliment the elongated and narrow block with r ectilinear shapes and straight lines. This created a clean and simple framework within which a rambling, informal, low maintenance, and changing planting structure could go to work.
The introduction of a deck was key to improving outdoor use and the indoor/outdoor connection. Broad and low recycled hardwood rails provide a seating edge around the deck while ensuring it is a safe place for young children to play. The boundary rail/ deck edge screen incorporated a playful height transition to negotiate the step down- this also ensured that an existing jasmine was part of the experience on the lower level of the deck.
New plantings were predominantly for a productive and edible garden- flowering herbs and a range of vegetables. It was also important that plant and material choices were in keeping with the modest timber workers cottage. A nod to the old residential and cottage garden aesthetic was also used as a way integrating the garden with existing elements such as the weathered paling fences.
Two tanks were added to capture roof water for reuse in the garden and laundry/toilet. The tanks provide an aesthetic feature in the back yard and a strong link to vernacular materials.
A modest chook shed was also added to provide eggs, fertiliser for the vegetables, and family pets.