it’s summer down under

Such a cheery thought, right? Desire to Inspire recently profiled Melbourne landscape design firm King’s Landscaping in a post on KL’s Point Lonsdale “Tree House” which prompted a deeper dive into KL’s website. The Tree House in question is nestled under the canopy of native “Moonah” trees (Melaleuca lanceolata). If like me your Australian geography is a bit dim, Point Lonsdale is in southern Australia near Melbourne, at the mouth of Port Phillip Bay. Rainiest month on average is November at 1.65 inches, with average annual rainfall approximately 25 inches. A charming claim to fame is the 100-year-old Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla) known as ‘The Christmas Tree” that is lit up on the first Saturday in December, which “can be seen for miles out to sea.”


The lack of green and predominance of buff-gold in this project might seem stark, but coming from the similar climate of SoCal I’d feel right at home here.


possibly a native grass tree/xanthorrhoea on the right

The central courtyard at Spray Farm reminds me of our local historical ranchos.


And with the Modern Native Garden, I love the “scruffiness” of the plants against the sleek chairs.


Summer in December sounds like the right idea to me (as long as we still get Christmas cookies too).

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10 Responses to it’s summer down under

  1. hb says:

    They have world’s largest gathering of Santas on jet skis, too. No, really!

    All those gardens look great. The brown doesn’t bother me at all. Considering we are getting zero rain, maybe brown is our future anyway. The Xanthorrhoea looks dead, though.

    Whatever that stunning silver plant in the last photo is, we wants it!

  2. Kris P says:

    Right now, 1.65 inches of rain in November sounds good to me! And average annual rainfall of 25 inches is stellar. It’s reportedly going to be a La Nina year so, as HB said, we probably have a lot of brown in our future. I agree with HB about the silver plant too – it looks like a sturdy version of Senecio ‘Angel Wings’.

  3. Poor brown, it’s unfairly dismissed by many.

    Thought you might enjoy this landscape I drooled over earlier this morning:

  4. Elaine says:

    In my Chinook prairie zone we get lots of browns in winter. The hues are subtle but is a very peaceful relaxing look and can be quite stunning when the sun shines on them turning some of the lighter shades bright gold. Love the courtyards.

  5. nikkipolani says:

    Can you tell me what that ruffly silvery gray plant is in the bottom left corner of the last photo?

  6. Alicia says:

    I like this house, the combination of modern and traditional European features, and of stone and brick. I don’t think it looks stark with the greenery surrounding it.

  7. Denise says:

    @Hoov, the silver does look like Senecio candicans, and the other wispy silvers are probably Calocephalus brownii. They both make a nice study in contrasting silvery textures.
    @Kris, I’m really starting to embrace the brown! I’m tired of waiting for rainfall all winter.
    @Loree, loved the link to Terremoto’s Sonoma garden. Can you believe the size of those daturas?! I gotta get me some of that action next summer.
    @ Elaine, your Chinook prairie sounds a wonderful place to be in winter.
    @Nikkipolani, best guess is Senecio candicans ‘Angel Wings.’ Mine has never looked that good but is still holding on with night temps in the 40s…
    @Alicia, I’m in complete agreement!

  8. Paul says:

    I also was enchanted by that silver plant. Looks like it’s actually cotyledon ‘blue waves‘ — an Australian cultivar.

  9. Denise says:

    thanks for the ID, Paul!

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