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A hardy coastal garden, designed for a family - Sunnymeade - Behind the Garden Gate

Nov 04, 2023

Explore Sunnymeade, a stunning coastal family garden in Australia with a rich history of creativity and evolution over 15 years. In this garden tour, we'll take you behind the garden gate to discover the beautiful landscape and design that Peter Shaw and his wife Simone have crafted.

The garden is nestled among giant Stringybark trees, which have stood tall for over a century and are a distinctive feature of this property. The couple fell in love with these gnarly trees, inspiring them to build their house and create this magnificent garden. Located in the coastal town of Angles in Victoria, Sunnymeade has evolved alongside their four children who once played among cubby houses and platforms in the trees.

Hardy and drought-tolerant plants are the stars of this garden, thriving under the shade of gum trees and enduring harsh coastal conditions. Indigenous and native species, along with exotic varieties, coexist in a beautiful blend. The garden's design combines round structures with strappy leaf plants, creating a dynamic and inviting atmosphere.

This garden is not your typical front yard; it's a multi-functional space for kids to play, family gatherings, and relaxation. Different rooms and areas are thoughtfully designed, including a versatile fire pit space for winter warmth and a refreshing water feature in the summer.

Every pathway you follow leads to a unique and enchanting place, ensuring there's always something new to explore in Sunnymeade. The garden's layout is meticulously designed to maximize every inch, with charming touches like rustic screens, bougainvillea, and virginia creeper.

The garden features a delightful potting area with fragrant native mint lining the pathways. A lean-to glasshouse, a green wall, and a potting bench offer extra space for gardening activities. Every corner of Sunnymeade has a distinct personality, making it a perfect place to tinker, propagate, and immerse yourself in the world of plants.

Contrary to formal gardens, Sunnymeade embraces a casual approach, allowing for changes and experimentation. Clipped hedges and unique plant shapes add character and a touch of whimsy to the landscape.

As you explore the garden, you'll encounter whimsical sculptures and stone walls that add to its charm. The surface transitions to shell grit as you approach the house, intensifying the vibrant orange accents.

The sunken courtyard by the house exudes coziness and is designed with sustainability in mind, thanks to the pistachio tree - "Charlie" - that provides shade to keep the interior cooler during the summer months.

If you're intrigued by the story of Sunnymeade and want to learn more about this garden and its creator, Peter Shaw, check out the book that delves into the garden's history and several other designs by Peter, Simone, and their team - you can find the book "Soulscape" HERE.

The garden's unique bench seat has a fascinating backstory involving an unexpected delivery of steel beams, resulting in the creation of this captivating piece of furniture.

The front yard takes centre stage in Sunnymeade, but there's a small backyard space adorned with quirky sculptures crafted from offcuts and recycled materials.

Sunnymeade is a treasure trove of inspiration for your own garden. Embrace plant repetition, discover the beauty of hardy and drought-tolerant plants, and create a relaxing, enjoyable, and enduring space like this coastal family garden in Australia.

Explore more Australian gardening wonders and innovative garden designs in our channel! Don't forget to like, subscribe, and share for more gardening inspiration. 🌻

Garden Design & Build by 🌱 Peter & Simone Shaw - Ocean Road Landscaping -  

Chloe Thomson  

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