Working with the flow of Jones' Residence

The front gate is laser-cut rusted steel depicting the cross section of a Eucalypt leaf, while the driveway fence allows glimpes of the garden on arrival. Photography: Grant Hancock
The front gate is laser-cut rusted steel depicting the cross section of a Eucalypt leaf, while the driveway fence allows glimpes of the garden on arrival. Photography: Grant Hancock

What more could you want from a garden? The jury citation for the winner of the 2019 National Landscape Architecture Awards: Award of Excellence for Gardens reads: 'Jones Residence is a living landscape that celebrates planting through a structure that meets the needs of the local site and provides a new lifestyle for the family.'

Jones Residence is in the Adelaide suburb of Tusmore and landscape architects TCL were engaged with what Director Kate Cullity, described as quite a loose brief: a garden that allowed for a family and responded to the existing trees and creek edge site and the unimposing architecturally designed house.

"The half hectare site of the Jones garden and residence provided a number of challenges, as well as positive attributes," Kate said.

"The property included a degraded creek to the north and a number of very large significant Eucalypts and mature Palm Trees to be retained. The project included the regeneration of the creek and careful siting of the house to ensure the health and longevity of these significant trees."

Care of the existing trees included protecting the roots of a significant Eucalypt by using a floating timber deck entrance and porous driveway paving.

TCL worked closely with the architects Grieve Gillett Anderson to ensure the house of naturally greying timber rested quietly in a relaxed garden environment.

"The house is sited well back from the front entrance allowing the significant trees the space their grandeur commands. This creates a sizable front garden sequence that grades down to the house," Kate said.

A safe family environment was achieved by giving cars and pedestrians separate entrances to the property. The view to the driveway and cars from the house and garden is softened by a timber screen that also allows glimpses into the garden upon arrival by car.

The material palette is subdued and includes sandy coloured pavers.

The material palette is subdued and includes sandy coloured pavers.

Kate said the form of the house created a number of courtyards including a pool, barbecue and deck area to the north and a quiet shady contemplative garden to the south.

The jury was especially impressed with how these areas had been skilfully integrated into the garden.

It also commended the design team for its engaging use of plants.

"The garden palette of hardy Mediterranean trees and plants creates multiple layers of varied textures, hues and forms. The banks of the creek have been laid back, lined in sandstone boulders and planted with mostly indigenous vegetation," Kate said.

"The material palette is subdued with sandy coloured pavers, Kanmantoo setts, sandstone gravel paths, naturally greying timber decks and screens, black stained timber front fence, and a laser-cut rusted steel front gate depicting the cross section of a Eucalypt leaf."

The awards' jury said that Jones Residence is 'a wonderful demonstration of the contribution gardens can make to the quality of our daily lives. The thoughtfully crafted garden embraces the site and its existing features and integrates a new residence in a fitting demonstration of quality design.'

Many of TCL's landscaping projects have won awards, including the National Arboretum in Canberra, Victoria Square in Adelaide, Elizabeth Quay in Perth and several projects at Monash University.