It was probably around 12 months ago or more, we were walking back from lunch and noticed this garden in Richmond. Nothing that unusual about a garden in Richmond but this one completely took me by surprise, especially when compared with the surrounding area. I was sort of disappointed at the time that I didn’t have anything to take a photo with (Yes, not even an iPhone) so we continued on our way, the garden gradually fading into a memory. Anyhow, a few months later Jase sent me a message to say that he had been walking down the same alley and happened to bump into the owner of the property (Matthew) who was happy to allow us to take a closer look at the garden. It would be a number of months later, on our next visit to Melbourne, that we finally got the opportunity to meet Matthew and his girlfriend who were (and deservingly) very proud of their property. I was originally going to put this post under the ‘Gardens’ heading but after consideration thought it more appropriate in ‘A Greener Mindset’ for its awesome green use of space. In actual fact I think it may have been my inspiration towards the ‘A Greener Mindset’ series in the first place (emphasis on ‘I think’, as fact and fiction work closely together in my mind).
From the outside this property is fairly typical of the area. The front faces out onto a super busy Bridge Rd and in its day was a shop front with living quarters upstairs and at the rear an alleyway that leads to the back of the property. Typically the back of one of these properties would consist of; cars, rubbish bins, a busted pallet or two and an overturned milk crate and hubcap, used as a seat and ashtray for smoke breaks throughout the day. This all mixed in with an excellent sprinkling of graffiti and you have set the scene for the usual use of these (I might add) very expensive pieces of real estate. Just for comparisons sake I took a photo of the property a couple of doors down from Matt’s, you be the judge. These are used for businesses purposes mind you, but still, interesting use of the same space.
Back to Matt’s: The back of the property is North facing so gets good sun for the majority of the year, it is well protected from southerly winds and is peaceful. Matt has grown everything in a multitude of interesting containers and large crates, some of which (he advised) were rather difficult to find and then manoeuvre into place, but with the help of his father, was achieved. The Mediterranean style garden is very suitable for the Melbourne climate with many succulents and a big focus on edible plants such as citrus, olives and herbs. I have seen a great overuse of succulents becoming the trend over the past number of years but in this garden they were used very effectively to compliment the overall gardens feel. From my brief conversation with Matt it didn’t appear he had any formal qualifications in horticulture (just a keen interest) which makes this garden even more impressive. I have created a couple of slideshows below from an outside and inside prospective and I thank Matt for allowing us to visit his house and garden.
I hope you have enjoyed this addition of ‘My Walkabout Plants’ and I will see you next week.
Sources of information:
- Matt’s guided tour.
- Photography by Simon Schubert and Jason Schubert.