"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful"...
The maxim of William Morris might apply equally well to a garden.
'Woodcote', in Melbourne's Outer East, is the private garden and residence of Sandra McMahon and architect Warwick Sheffield, and is inspired by the Arts & Crafts Movement, with references also to the work of Edna Walling, whose Bickleigh Vale village is in neighbouring Mooroolbark.
It is an informal 'garden of rooms', set on half an acre, and created over the past six years around several large existing trees and a 1950's weatherboard house which has been totally remodelled and enlarged, using recycled timber and 'green' architectural principles.
The emphasis is on plant material for structure, and the garden showcases a very broad range of plants.
The Australian plant garden at the front casually segues into a Japanese-inspired stroll garden, thence across a billabong to a woodland garden, featuring a copse of Nyssa sylvatica, and plantings of Prairie perennials and grasses.
Other areas include a Rose Garden, small orchard and vegetable garden, raspberry plot and fernery.
In all of this, much thought has been given to transition zones and avoiding any sudden changes in mood, in order that the flow is seamless. There is a sense of unity in the whole, despite its diverse parts.