Chandler garden: Bli Bli Beauty

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Tucked in over the lee of a hill, the entrance to Jay and Jo Chandler’s home and garden, in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, is at once inviting and atmospheric.

It’s also a teaser: what else are we about to discover?

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This is a garden brimful with vignettes to delight and amuse.

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Common epiphytic bromeliads and ferns are at home attached to an old stump, and atop, the shallow birdbath sits snugly amongst the foliage.

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Cycad fronds unfurl with flair and behind, Old Man’s beard falls softly from the trees.

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Allamanda ‘Cherry Ripe’ borders Helidon sandstone slabs leading down to the lower part of the garden.

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This area had been under-utilised until a family wedding prompted the Chandlers to transform it into an appealing, functional space.

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A timber bench that wreaths the gnarled trunk draws attention to the poinciana’s grandeur plus – it covers tricky roots hazardous for mowing.  It also provides a spot where you can sit, and rest your wine glass…

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Tiered walls of superbly juxtaposed Coolum sandstone rocks serve to support each level, and delineate each area.

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Jay’s welded ironwork is eye-catching and fun. A backdrop of grassland is the perfect foil for this imaginative, eclectic gate, made from horseshoes, stirrup irons, wool shears and other memorabilia.

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Jay used a template to place faux sandstone pavers in a grid patterns. They create a textural contrast, making playful punctuation in the buffalo lawn.

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The Gordonia’s multi sculptural stems are a feature, as is their beautiful bark.

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Layers of texture: a mound of long, spiky strelitzia leaves contrast with self-seeding pink and white vincas (whose season can be extended if cut back when leggy), a back-lit glaucous agave, and variegated dracaenas.

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In the distance, fine leaved pink and mint green acalyphas and tri-coloured trachelospermum spill over the terrace at repeated intervals. The large charcoal slabs were discovered onsite during the earthworks.

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Horseshoes form flower-like motifs on the garden gate.

The recessed stairs and gate, flush with the outside wall, draws us to peer past the variegated plectranthis spilling over the steps, and out to the paddock.

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Jo’s wonderful creativity has resulted in the placement of various arty and quirky pieces that always make us smile.

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The multi-stemmed, variegated dracaena, ‘Song of India’ stands tall on one side while on the other, a small growing trunkless cascade palm makes a lush companion to the rusted-toned and wavy-leafed acalypha.

logoConsidered placement of plants alongside arty elements ensures this garden retains a sense of joy.

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READERS’ COMMENTS:

You have sent me many wonderful gardens in the past and I have never thought of commenting on them, but the Chandler garden is special.  I loved the subtlety of the courtyard, it was so sweet and private.

Thank you again,

Gillian Elliott

Brisbane, Queensland

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