The creation of a country cottage garden | Ashley James Gardens

Country Cottage Garden, Victoria

Landscape design by Ashley James, Ashley James Gardens.

This country garden is located on the outskirts of The Yarra Valley in the small town of Panton Hill. Designed and constructed by Ashley James in 2018, for a successful Melbourne couple looking for a tree change.

The Brief

The clients, Steve and Jenny, are both talented cooks and gardeners. They wanted to create a place that they could entertain and host their friends in, while being able to collect cut flowers for their home and enjoy a cup of tea while reading the paper in little seating pockets around the property.

The Transformation

The consultation with Steve and Jenny was simple. Steve just wanted Jenny to be happy, and Jenny wanted a beautiful garden she could potter in. With the use of reclaimed bricks Ashley was able to create a solid architectural framework of pathways, making access around the garden easy. He then softened the framework of the pathways and pergola with the use of climbing wisteria and cottage perennials.

Digitalis purpurea (Foxglove)
Lavandula dentata (French lavender)
Buxus sempervirens balls.

During the construction of this garden Ashley asked Jenny a question – ‘It’s your garden, Jenny. What would you like to see?” Jenny’s response blew Ashley away. She said: “No Ashley, it is your garden until you have finished. I trust your knowledge and vision and believe you will create something beautiful for me.”

The Result

Thanks to the full trust of the clients, Ashley was able to create an enchanting garden that transports the viewer to a world of romance and tranquility. The timber pergola covered in wisteria seats a large outdoor dining table for guests to gather, while the woodfire pizza oven allows Jenny to show off her amazing cooking skills.

Nestled in the heart of the countryside, this picturesque cottage garden is surrounded by lush perennial plantings, creating a haven of natural beauty. As you wander along the beautiful red brick pathway, the fragrant scents of the flowers fill the air, inviting you to explore further.

Key Planting List

To name a few of the many plants in this full garden…

  • Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’
  • Lavandula dentata (French lavender)
  • Buxus sempervirens
  • Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed)
  • Digitalis purpurea (Foxgloves)
  • Cercis canadensis (Forest Pansy)
  • Erigeron glaucus
Landscape design by Ashley James Gardens.

Australian garden designer and maker, Ashley James designs and builds gardens in a distinct style that uses informal design, traditional materials, dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants to create beautiful and productive gardens for a modern Australian lifestyle.