Contemporary Courtyards

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Don looked at four gardens by contemporary Melbourne designer, Ewald Cilliers. Ewald constructs waterwise, low maintenance and environmentally responsible courtyards and gardens using coloured, rendered walls and mosaics.

Ewald keeps his plant choices to a minimum, using plants that perform well and survive with natural rainfall. The constants are grass trees (Xanthorrhoea australis) and yuccas (Yucca elephantipes). Yuccas are a favourite as they can be changed by pruning, thus providing a whole new look without removing the plant. Ewald likes to use the space between the plants, instead of filling all spaces with plants. He also uses screens as a backdrop to highlight plants in the garden.

Minimalist courtyard

This garden features a ceramic tile sun framed by timber treated with rusting paint, and a concrete tribal head underplanted with Canberra grass (Scleranthus biflorus). Other plantings include miniature wattle (Acacia cognata ‘Limelight’) and yuccas. Zincalume steel has been used as a screen and a backdrop for the yuccas. A Merbau timber deck straddles the courtyard, and areas of grey and off-white pebbles are edged with bluestone pitchers.

Adventurous front yard

This garden features bluestone boulders, bluestone pitchers and black pebbles. Plants used include grass trees, yuccas, lomandra (Lomandra ‘Tanika’), festuca (Festuca glauca) and Canberra grass.

Tribal theme courtyard

Light coloured pebbles and succulents are used in this courtyard. An abstract mural on an ochre rendered wall, together with a collection of old stone pots, provide a distinct tribal ambience.

Dry river bed

Highlights of this garden include a Merbau timber main deck and boardwalk, and a walking path of loose black pebbles to simulate a stream. The courtyard is fringed with bluestone pitchers, and there is a collection of old stone pots planted with Canberra grass. Other plants used include dwarf flax (Dianella ‘Little Rev’) and Japanese blood grass (Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’).

Contact information

Ewald Cilliers
Landscape designer
Contemporary Courtyards
Phone: 0408 917 349
Email: [email protected]