heritage home and contemporary landscape

Landscaping your Heritage Perth Home

Many of Perth’s older suburbs boast beautiful heritage homes with spacious gardens. Heritage homes are known for their unique character and rich history and heritage significance is based on the historic and aesthetic values of the area.   If you are fortunate enough to own one of these grand dames of the housing world, you will want to do everything you can to create a garden that reflects the beauty of your home.

These homes are traditionally situated on large blocks, so that you may find the thought of all that garden somewhat daunting. We will look at how you can make the most of your space and how our professional landscape designers can make the process easy for you.

Heritage Home and Garden in Perth

Materials and Finishes for Heritage Gardens

Heritage homes often have a symmetrical interior with a central hallway that runs through the house. Rooms run off the hallway to form the traditional heritage-style home. These beautiful homes are constructed using traditional brick, timber, and tiles.

Chances are, you may have renovated or extended your home giving you a mix of old and new,  so when planning your landscape, choose materials to reflect the style of the building while allowing for a flow-through effect. Various natural materials will bring out the best in your heritage-style home when constructing fences, walls, and paths.

If your home has some modern aspects, due to a renovation or addition at the rear of your property, you may wish to extend your indoor living areas outdoors with some more modern elements in your garden. If you have timber flooring, this can often be done to great effect with timber decking, which allows you to easily bring up the level of your outdoor area to match that of the interior, giving the impression of wide open spaces, something often lacking in older homes.

Paths and Paving

The symmetrical nature of a heritage home lends itself perfectly to symmetrical garden paths and paved areas. Most houses of this era will have a pathway directly to the front door, and some incorporate central features like fountains or planters within the paving layout to highlight the entrance. If your property has existing brick pavers, we often recommend lifting and re-laying them in a new patter, to renew the space while keeping in touch with the home’s history.

The type of pavers you can choose from ranges from natural stone pavers to second-hand or recycled bricks. The beauty of a natural stone is that it suits both modern and older style architecture. Your modern renovations will be just as at home with traditional stone paving as a restored heritage gazebo. Read more about our favourite paving styles here.

Climbing Plants and Arbours

An arbour or archway can enhance and compliment any garden. The shapes reflect the traditional arches often observed in heritage architecture. Garden arches are constructed from wood or steel and can support flowering plants such as climbing roses or wisteria. The flowering arch makes an attractive entrance to your home when placed over a pathway or entrance gate.

Porticos can also be perfect for supporting leafy or flowering plants, and many heritage home owners capitalise on the opportunity to grow directly onto their homes. If you like the softness of climbing plants or the more formal appearance of espaliered trees trellising can work beautifully to enhance your house exterior or garden walls.

climbing plants perth

Incorporate and Play with Formality

The formal garden is a common sight in heritage-style landscapes and can be achieved with careful planning and an eye for symmetry. Think of the grounds of Versailles, one of France’s most famous formal gardens but on a smaller scale. Symmetry relies on long vistas to draw the eye, the placement of paving and paths, and features such as statues or topiary to balance the view. A symmetrical garden can be very satisfying to the eye.

If the rambling garden is more your style, you may wish to throw symmetry to the wind and create a garden with a less formal approach. Surprisingly, this can be more difficult to pull of, and successful informal gardens rely on balance without symmetry. Still, on can achieve this look using similar materials and plantings, altering the layout. Think garden paths winding to secluded hideaways and climbing plants covering arches. Your heritage garden can be your own ‘secret garden’.

A common approach to heritage home gardens is to have a formal front yard landscape with symmetrical elements and a less formal rear garden where you can entertain and combine old and new elements.

Heritage Home and Garden in Perth

Repurpose and Upcycle

Do you have a gazebo or sun house that has seen better days? You can recreate the structure using salvageable materials such as roof tiles or decorative stained glass to fit in with your new renovation or garden design. This is just one of the ways you can capitalise on the craftsmanship present in many heritage structures and details, while updating the space to suit your needs.

Heritage Home and Garden in Perth

Pools for Heritage Homes

As charming as a heritage house can be, a functional, hundred year old pool is not likely to accompany it. If there is a pool, it’s likely a more recent addition. There is no need to go to great lengths masquerading a new pool as an original feature. Don’t be afraid to connect old and new. The hard edges and gloss of glass and concrete can serve to highlight the delicate details of your heritage home. Simple modern features such as a tiled concrete pool and pool deck can highlight formal heritage plantings and structures.

Integrating Existing Trees and Plants

Some of the plants and trees in your existing garden are probably as old as your home. A mature tree can be the crowning glory of your garden. A shaded place to sit on a Summer’s day, or the central feature of your formal garden. Retaining or relocating your trees and mature plants such as roses can make a big difference to the overall impact of the garden.

Plant Selections for Heritage Gardens

The heritage-style garden combines evergreen plants, roses, creepers, formal hedges, and topiaries. Hedging plants can include the glossy Boxwood (Buxus) for garden borders and topiary. Fragrant plants such as rosemary and lavender make beautiful, easy-to-maintain hedges and borders.

If roses are your preference, wide varieties are available to suit your taste and heritage garden requirements. For example, the climbing rose can be grown on an arbour or arch to provide an attractive vista. The formal style garden looks best when it is maintained regularly. You can talk to our professional team about maintenance.

heritage perth garden ornamentation

Heritage Garden Ornamentation

Position more traditional statues and features in the front garden of a heritage home. These could be statues or water features made from the same stone as your exterior walls.   The chosen materials and forms should highlight your home and landscape’s key features. When selecting ornaments for the rear of your home, you are limited only by your taste and budget. Heritage gardens lend themselves very well to maximalism and personal touches.

Always seek professional & council advice.

If you have a heritage home, it could be heritage listed or situated in a heritage precinct, which means there may be limitations on what you can change and add to your home or landscape. For example, you may have to maintain the front of your home as close to the original as possible but could be allowed to modernise the rear building and gardens.

Consult with your local council before planning any renovations or improvements to your home or garden.  Contacting your local historical society can also be beneficial as they may have records and photos of your home in its original state.

Get in touch

Getting your garden just right when you own a heritage-style home doesn’t have to be difficult.  TDL has the experience and professional know-how to have your garden looking immaculate all year round.