Mobbs Front Garden - in a nutshell
Lady Palm, Rhapis excelsa. Slow growing palm, grown worldwide, especially
a potted plant, but originating in southern China. Relatively drought
resistent. Chinese medicinal uses: leaf stalk, bark and fruits to
bleeding. Roots: to stimulate blood circulation and rheumatism.
Used as an
architectural feature and as a threshhold planting by the front
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum. Slow growing perennial, grown widely
warm-temperate to tropical gardens. Relatively drought resistent.
the commercial source of cardamom and the leaves may be wrapped
fish before cooking to impart their flavour. Flowers, if produced,
used in salads. Rarely flowers or fruits in Sydney. Chinese medicinal
seeds for stimulating gastric activity, increase menstrual flow
and to treat
premature ejaculation, the treat the involuntary discharge of urine
treat pain in the stomach. Rhizomes are used as a laxative. Used
clumping accent¹ plant, to provide useful foliage for
cookery. Prunings can
be easily composted.
Flax Lily, Dianella caerulea. Aborigines used the tough leaves to
dillies and baskets. Although it is not recorded that the purple/blue
berries were eaten, they are edible and although the flavour can
it is not unpleasant. Relatively drought resistent. Planted to provide
volume¹, decorative flowers, edible fruits and so that
its foliage provides
a colour contrast with other plants.
Mondo Grass, Dwarf Lilyturf, Ophiopogon japonicus. A rhizomatous
widely grown in warm-temperate climates and commonly used as a border
Originates from Japan and Korea. Relatively drought resistent. Chinese
medicinal uses: Roots for cooling the body, as a general tonic,
thirst quencher, to treat sore throats, coughs and fevers. Planted
provide a neat border, to prevent stormwater from washing away soil
garden bed and to retain fallen leaves while they decompose.
Star Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides. An evergreen twining
widely grown in warm temperate climates for its scented flowers
utility as an easily trained climber. Originates from southern China.
Flowers may cause an allergic reaction in some people and the milky
cause skin irritation, so wear gloves when pruning. Chinese medicinal
stem and leaves are used as a general tonic, as a pain killer, to
menstrual flow, to treat sore throats, arthritis and rheumatism.
domestic landscaper is usually required to create an instant effect
to help sell a home 'off the plan'. These 'disposable' gardens usually
look good for a year or so until the spatial and horticultural needs
of living and competing plants reveal their shortcomings.
to engineer gardens so that common gardening problems don't occur,
I also supply instruction 'manuals' for any new garden.
gardens can be neat, tidy AND non-threatening! They suffer from
the misconception that, whilst 'worthy', they require skill, effort
and a liberal dash of arcane knowledge to maintain. Michael wanted
a garden that is sustainable and a home that looks normal.
and exotic edible, medicinal and functional plants together blend
with the architecture of the house, the streetscape and collectively
offer a sense of welcome to visitors.
have been chosen to build the confidence of an amateur gardener.
Because these plants are suited to the site conditions, and are
highly unlikely to suffer from pests or diseases, they eliminate
the traditional 'triggers' that encourage the resort to pesticides
or artificial fertilisers to 'correct' the problem. They were also
chosen to match the amount of leisure time and horticultural skill
available. The display should look full and mature after one year.
are commercially and locally available, but acquiring them was the
least sustainable aspect of the project. The most economical nursery
suppliers are way out on the fringes of suburban Sydney, where land
and rates are cheaper. It took more than five times longer to find
them, buy them and get them home than it did to plant and water
Coleby-Williams Dip. Hort (Kew), RHS, MAIH.
very kindly designed and then contributed the front garden. This is
an example of how a difficult,
south-facing, inner city house site may be productively brightened