Artist’s garden: Judith Wright

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Sturdy wooden doors with filigree windows provide a tantalising glimpse into the garden of painter and sculptor Judith Wright.

Her home, in a hilly, inner city suburb of Brisbane, is in the Queenslander style of architecture adapted to the climate and topography of the region.

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While the home sits on the highest part of the block, the 1330 sq metre garden extends into a shady gully where three towering figs, Ficus benjamina, stamp a sub-tropical character and provide a green canopy for a tumble of shade-loving plants.

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The figs’ entwined trunks form organic sculptural forms.

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Alongside the mighty buttress trunks, stairs that were once straight have succumbed to the vast network of roots.

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Dracaenas (easily propagated from cuttings) add volume, and their variegated leaves add light to the green palette.

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Fern naturalise readily in the thick leaf mulch and dappled light beneath the figs.

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Flat areas are utilised for seating or for some of the interesting artifacts collected by Judith.

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The garden provides a quiet, contemplative counterpoint to the intense, creative energy in the artist’s studio.

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There’s plenty of habitat for birds and native animals.

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Plants and fish, in vessels and ponds, ensure a healthy aquatic balance, and reduce mosquito larvae.

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A chimney pot mellowed with a patina of moss.

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The garden’s subtropical character is enhanced by an Edwardian favourite, the hardy Monstera deliciosa.

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Solandra maxima is growing over an archway leading into one of the sunnier spots.

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The iron finial is a perfect anchor for such a vigorous vine.

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 A beautifully detailed rock wall, with deep-raked slate, embraces one of Judy’s favourite areas.  Several artifacts enriching the garden reflect her aesthetic sensibility.

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Timor Black bamboo, a thick and non invasive screen, creates an exotic backdrop for the well and stone lion.

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Companionable seating beneath the shade of a bougainvillea arbour, and next to an elevated gold-fish pond.

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 Maybe the concrete stork reminds fish there is danger lurking above.

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 In some less accessible areas Judith’s applied her artist’s eye to add detail.

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 Boldly textured ctenanthe provide year-round lushness.

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Large flat stepping stones and contrasting smooth pebbles by the pond are oriental in style.

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The neigbouring church spire glimpsed between the frangipani leaves.

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Another old-fashioned favourite: this cactus flowers at night, and by mid-morning the party’s over.

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The Epipremnum pinnatum, heading skyward here to meet the skirt of spent palm fronds, can be used as an indoor plant – albeit long before its leaves take on such a large form.

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A delicate, potted flowering anthurium contrasts with the larger-scaled white flowering spathiphyllum bordering the bluestone crazy-paved path.

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The elegant, welcoming entrance.  Old ceramic and cement pots flanking the front door are colourful focal points and handy receptacles for the odd umbrella.

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Perhaps this could be an interesting template to use at home.

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Versatile seating – a perfect perch for a chat.

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He said….

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That is something to think about….

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A lacy metal screen filters sunlight streaming onto the sheltered verandah.

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There are intimate spaces as well as areas large enough for a crowd.

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logoThis informal city garden with unmistakable subtropical character, reflects diverse interests of an industrious artist, and provides a peaceful retreat.

MJK

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READERS’ COMMENTS

I just wanted to say thank you again, I’m thoroughly enjoying the pictures you send me every blog, it’s truly inspiring and it’s like I don’t even have to buy any magazine to see so much beauty in other gardens.  Your photography is  beautiful!

Gabrielle Lees, NSW

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Enjoy your blog.  I was particularly interested in Judith Wrights garden…..my sort of garden

Denise C

4 replies »

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