The Endurance of 1970s Style Natural Landscaping

The landscaping around the house has been fashioned into a series of naturalistic garden ‘rooms’, permeated by winding paths that gradually lead into the wilder, more wooded parts of the block.

While Hanson included exotic plants including camellias, rhododendrons and wisteria near the house, his main goal was to create a garden that would gradually blend in with the native bush. “A lot of people would put a wall there,” she says, pointing to where a sloping expanse of lawn turns into stands of Red Box, Long-Leaf Box and other local eucalyptus. “But I always wanted it to feel like it was just the lie of the land.”

His advice to anyone embarking on a similar project now is to take their time and “be careful”. “Don’t immediately bring in bulldozers and other ground-scraping equipment, but wait to see what plants appear.”

The next step, she says, is to think about which trees you want and where. “These are the important things because they will be there forever. “You also need to incorporate the rocks, steps and hard landscaping. I call it the backbone and if you get it all figured out at the start there shouldn’t be any need to change it.”

It also helps if you have the ability to look at a plot of land and imagine what it will look like when developed.

“I was fascinated by the way Ellis Stones could visualize things,” says Hanson. “It was like those magic books where you could look at pictures and see something different. But then it comes to you and you can start visualizing the gardens as well. I just grew up in it.

The driveway is surrounded by local eucalyptus and acacia treesCredit:Simon Schluter

She also grew up in her Warrandyte land, which, although cleared in the 1850s, had left many of her ground floor plants intact. During his first few seasons on the property, Hanson watched in awe as 27 different types of ground orchids appeared, an expanse of chocolate lilies erupted, carpets of hardenbergia spread, and pine trees bloomed. other local plants.

Over the decades, the Hansons continued to weed these bushier parts and generally kept a close eye on the garden she made around the house they built in 1972.

It was a long and rewarding experience. Although her age, a bad back and the fact that her husband is also sick now limits the amount of gardening she can do and she has started to employ people to help her, she still pulls weeds and cuts paper daisies in her kitchen.

“If I have some time and something needs to be done, I will do it. I would much rather be there than here (his living room). I love the outdoors. Couldn’t live without a garden.

But few 27-year-olds can get into a business of this magnitude now.

The Hanson Garden, 104 Webb Street, Warrandyte, is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday September 3 and Sunday September 4, $10. Visit for more information.

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Terri S. Tomasini