Garden No 4 - Kookaburra Cottage, 40 Woodford Street
Courtesy of Glenn Chaplin and Brad Ngata
Like old guards, towering rhododendrons, elm and Alpine cyprus, some planted as early as the '20s, protect the more recently cultivated plantings of azaleas, maples, camellias and woodland plants that form the intimate, reflective areas of the garden at Kookaburra Cottage.
Building on the clever use of terracing on a dramatically sloping block by the previous owner, and meandering stone paths that take you on a patchwork trail of garden 'rooms', the current custodians, Glenn Chaplin and Brad Ngata, find a unique balance between the formality of clipped hedges and the riot of a wild English country garden brimming with tulips, daffodils and other seasonal bulbs.
Walls using salvaged stone from the site are now tufted with ferns, and rows of camellia and hydrangea plantings provide a sense of seclusion and retreat, not just for the owners and visitors, but a variety of birdlife - and the resident dogs, Arlo and Clipper.
The fragrant notes of the garden sing to the soul - the subtle breezes mixing the scent of the wisteria-laden balcony, the abundant rose arbour and rose garden, and lilac and magnolia trees. Unexpected natives like grevilleas surprise, while tight areas of lawn act almost as viewing platforms, and trickling ponds and a large lily pool add a soothing water element.
As with all gardens, Kookaburra Cottage is a labour of love, added to over generations, with the current owners welcoming you to enjoy its latest incarnation.