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.
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.
The figs’ entwined trunks form organic sculptural forms.
Alongside the mighty buttress trunks, stairs that were once straight have succumbed to the vast network of roots.
Dracaenas (easily propagated from cuttings) add volume, and their variegated leaves add light to the green palette.
Fern naturalise readily in the thick leaf mulch and dappled light beneath the figs.
Flat areas are utilised for seating or for some of the interesting artifacts collected by Judith.
The garden provides a quiet, contemplative counterpoint to the intense, creative energy in the artist’s studio.
There’s plenty of habitat for birds and native animals.
Plants and fish, in vessels and ponds, ensure a healthy aquatic balance, and reduce mosquito larvae.
A chimney pot mellowed with a patina of moss.
The garden’s subtropical character is enhanced by an Edwardian favourite, the hardy Monstera deliciosa.
Solandra maxima is growing over an archway leading into one of the sunnier spots.
The iron finial is a perfect anchor for such a vigorous vine.
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.
Timor Black bamboo, a thick and non invasive screen, creates an exotic backdrop for the well and stone lion.
Companionable seating beneath the shade of a bougainvillea arbour, and next to an elevated gold-fish pond.
Maybe the concrete stork reminds fish there is danger lurking above.
In some less accessible areas Judith’s applied her artist’s eye to add detail.
Boldly textured ctenanthe provide year-round lushness.
Large flat stepping stones and contrasting smooth pebbles by the pond are oriental in style.
The neigbouring church spire glimpsed between the frangipani leaves.
Another old-fashioned favourite: this cactus flowers at night, and by mid-morning the party’s over.
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.
A delicate, potted flowering anthurium contrasts with the larger-scaled white flowering spathiphyllum bordering the bluestone crazy-paved path.
The elegant, welcoming entrance. Old ceramic and cement pots flanking the front door are colourful focal points and handy receptacles for the odd umbrella.
Perhaps this could be an interesting template to use at home.
Versatile seating – a perfect perch for a chat.
That is something to think about….
A lacy metal screen filters sunlight streaming onto the sheltered verandah.
There are intimate spaces as well as areas large enough for a crowd.
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
Enjoy your blog. I was particularly interested in Judith Wrights garden…..my sort of garden