There were no plans to begin with. We knew what sort of garden we wanted – a rambling full of adventure place like Edna Walling described but beyond that it was overwhelming. But – we did have the hard landscaping done and many many mature beautiful trees so anything else was just a bonus.
Most importantly the garden had to be an extension of the mudbrick houses where floor length windows everywhere meant the garden was always visible and to be enjoyed. We also included as many elements as Edna described – we even tried to make our own mushrooms like she did – ours were just a bit too rustic!
After 7 years I drew the sketch above – we were almost there.
Who was Edna Walling?
Edna Walling has a unique place in Australian Gardening History. She was one of Australia’s most influential landscape designers. She began gardening when it was a “men only” career and had to work hard to overcome the prejustice of the time.
Some of her gardens are:
Her aim was for the garden and house relate harmoniously to each other and to the natural environment. Stone walls, uneven rough-hewn steps, a copse of silver birches, wide pergolas and paths – always softened with a mantle of greenery formed an integral part of her designs.
Often a subtle blend of native and exotic trees were planted, drawing inspiration from the Australian bush, creating a more naturalistic style with boulders, rocky outcrops and indigenous plants. Edna created garden ‘rooms’ with crazy paving stones meandering from one area to another – these were “Walling” trademarks in garden design from the 1930s on.
So when we began to design the Uccello Lane garden we always had inspiration and would ask – “What would Edna do?” We knew it was to have a garden we could enjoy through all seasons every day we were there!