Apartment living now your thing? You can learn how to turn your pocket of a garden space into a mini paradise by taking inspiration from an oasis that has risen from the ruins of one of Sydney’s first water stores.
Like much of today’s high-density housing, this garden is ruled by hardscapes that have the potential to dominate any greenery. Instead the mass of bricks, slabs of concrete and a skeleton of iron have become warm homes to the collection of plants carefully selected for their environment.
Shine a Light
Outside the Paddington Reservoir Gardens, the noise of the traffic is ever present, while inside there is still the sense of utility. But these plantings turn the thrum and function from a distraction into a delight. And they shine a light on the raw beauty of the ruin.
The garden shows that you don’t need a large space for a place of peace. Your little balcony can still be a lush patch with a strategic arrangement of greenery that can enhance your surroundings.
What Graham loves about the garden
What strikes me is that such a minimal quantity of plants creates such a lush effect. The cathedral-like structure is very dominant, very powerful. Only about 30 per cent of the landscape is plants, while two- thirds of it is taken up with hard surfaces. This place is friendly, it’s an oasis. There’s lots of concrete, bricks and steel that have a beauty of their own – and the plants don’t detract from that. The plants really work.
The designers have been clever in that they’ve selected plants that suit the space’s special microclimate. It’s just the sort of thing you’d want to adapt for courtyards or on high-rise balconies. It’s a small garden, but it’s highly effective.
For more of Graham's garden inspiration, pick up a copy of the June issue in selected newsagents and supermarkets or buy online today!