Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Wentworth Falls

Wentworth Falls Garden

While the owner builder was completely renovating the house, I was commissioned to draw up a plan to renovate the garden. The large, flat block was completely dominated by many over-mature conifers. These put most of the yard in shade and little else could grow. It was imperative to remove these heavy trees to let natural light and winter sun into the house and garden. Since the property has three road frontages and privacy was an issue, the quite healthy row of Mexican pines along the northern boundary was retained for screening and protection from hot summer winds. A row of Leyland cypress now runs along the eastern and western fence line. They will later be clipped into a moderate hedge for privacy.

The client asked for a woodland garden where beautiful trees provided height and ambience above groundcovers and specimen shrubs. The main trees selected were Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Maples (Acer palmatum) and Acer ("October Glory"), Ornamental Pears (Pyrus nivalis) and Dogwood (Cornus capitata) to tie in with an existing pink dogwood in the yard. These have been planted in small groves creating a distinctive feel in different areas of the garden. Deciduous trees allow the sun into the garden and house during the colder winter experienced in the Blue Mountains. An outdoor entertainment area was also a priority as was a decorative, yet functional vegetable patch with adjoining chicken run.

To create vertical interest on this flat site, freestanding rubble sandstone walls were built. A one metre high curved wall runs along the side of the vegetable garden and then wraps around the covered entertainment area creating enclosure and seating. A lower circular wall welcomes guests at the front door. Two existing old corrugated iron sheds with quaint character and style were retained as part of the chicken run and painted in strong, whimsical colours. Although the paths and driveway are plain concrete, they are softened by the overhanging foliage and enhanced by the play of shadows.

To foster the feel of a natural woodland, grasses were selected to grow naturally and gently soften the edges. Carex, Miscanthus "Variegata", Calamagrostis "Overdam", Lomandra "Tanika" and NZ Flax all blend together but still add their own particular charm and style. Banks of shrubs (Echium, Choisya and Rhododendron) provide the medium height, while perennials and smaller shrubs (Rosemary, Day Lillies, Hellebores, Daisies, Sedum, Hebe and some Azaleas) fill the lower story with foliage, flowers and fragrances. Groundcovers (Ajuga, Juniper and Bergenia) work well under the trees especially the Ajuga with its carpet of blue flowers beneath the white trunks and pale green leaves of the Silver Birch in Spring. For accent Juniperus "Spartan" and Cephalotaxus "Fastigiata" were used. There is flower and foliage interest for all seasons.

The clients were happy to engage me to oversee the construction and much time was spent discussing progress with them and the contractors to ensure that the spirit of the design was maintained and preparation and planting procedures of the gardens followed. This project is an excellent example of what can be achieved with good design and clients who value and respect the ideas of the designer.

The garden now has a new owner who enjoys it and cares for it as did the original owners.

  • Shrubs
    • Rhododendron "Christmas
      Cheer"
    • Michelia "Coco"
    • Lavandula stoechas
    • Rosmarinus "Blue Lagoon"
    • Roses
    • Hebe "Inspiration"
    • Escallonia iveyi
    • Azalea "Christmas Cheer"
    • Azalea "White Lace"
  • Perennials
    • Ajuga "Jungle Beauty"
    • Ajuga "Catlins Giant"
    • Bergenia cordifolia
    • Echium fastuosum
    • Hemerocallis aurantica
    • Helleborus orientalis
    • Helleborus foetida
    • Sedum "Autumn Joy"
  • Trees
    • Acer palmatum
    • Acer "October Glory"
    • Betula pendula
    • Cornus capitata
    • Pyrus nivalis
    • Cupressocyparis x leylandii
      "Leighton's Green"
    • Juniperus "Spartan
  • Grasses and similar
    • Calamagrostis acutifolia
      "Overdam"
    • Carex brownii
    • Carex testacea
    • Lomandra "Tanika"
    • Liriope muscari "Variegata"
    • Liriope muscari "Evergreen Giant"
    • Miscanthus sinensis
      "Variegata"
    • Ophiopogon japonicus
      "Nana"
    • Ophiopogon planiscarpus
      "Nigra"
    • Phormium tenax
    • Phormium "Anna Red"
    • Phormium "Bronze Baby"
    • Phormium "Chieftain"