A Sensitive Update For This Grand, 100 Year-Old Garden in Sydney
Mosman Grounds represents the cumulative effort of several landscape designers over a 100 year period.
Originally built as a series of ‘garden rooms’, Wyer & Co were most recently engaged to update the space for better functionality, privacy and flow.
‘The landscape had retained adequate structure, but had been let go over the years,’ explains Anthony Wyer, landscape designer and creative director of Wyer & Co.
Upon visiting the garden for the first time, Anthony immediately determined what the space needed to be. ‘This was influenced by the architecture and the era of the build, but it is also a reflection of how gardening was approached at the time: a collective of beautiful, interesting, and unique specimens,’ he says.
Anthony’s vision – a complete overhaul of the garden’s underplanting around the existing mature trees. ‘This provided an opportunity for the client to make their own mark on the garden, without the time or cost needed to replace mature planting,’ he says.
A variety of new mid and low-level planting was introduced, encompassing a mix of native and exotic plant species rich in colour and foliage.
Because of the expansive 1412 square metre grounds, certain areas experience their own climatic conditions, requiring special attention. ‘The challenge or skill lies in specifying a plant palette that is not only appropriate for these conditions but is also cohesive and visually interesting,’ Anthony says.
New Ficus hedging planted on entry helps shelter the property from the street. Meanwhile, previously disconnected spaces at the rear were stripped back, and a new level lawn was installed for entertaining.
Privacy concerns by the pool were addressed by planting new established trees, including Magnolia grandiflora ‘Exmouth’, Morus alba ‘Pendula’, and Betula nigra (river birch), which were craned in to complement the existing scheme.
This distinguished garden is an element of its age and history. Similar to a botanical garden, it has been borrowed, developed, and passed on through the generations. ‘We are proud to have contributed to it,’ Anthony says.