The view of the new garden from Marrickviklle Road.   Three small children were inspecting the plants while I was there.

The view of the new garden from the footpath on Marrickville Road. With serveral new trees & hedges, this corner will develop into something that really enhances the local landscape.  Three small children were inspecting the plants while I was there.

I read in ‘Marrickville Matters’ that St Clement’s Anglican Church at the corner of Marrickville & Petersham Roads won ‘Best Commercial Garden’ in Marrickville Council’s 2014 Spring Garden Competition.  Deservedly so – because it is terrific.

I first noticed this garden when riding past one day & went back later for a sticky-beak.  I really like this garden & I think children especially, will enjoy it.

A shady seat beside a NSW Christmas tree, which has been putting on a good show for a few years.

A shady seat beside a NSW Christmas tree, which has been putting on a good show for a few years.

Set in a small space between the church building & the side fence fronting Petersham Road, the garden does much with the space. Small rooms have been created – something garden designers love.

There are areas with seats for quiet reflection around the perimeter of the church, including the areas not visible from the road. Other seats are scattered throughout the garden & many of these are small child height.  An olive tree is planted in the middle of a circular wire seating arrangement, while a NSW Christmas tree provides shade for a bench seat near the gate.  Camelias & fruit trees have been planted as well.

There is even a ‘fairy circle’ of wooden toadstools – perfect for a gathering of little children. The fairy circle is visible & close to the front door of the church. I can see kids racing to gather here while their parents are chatting with others at the front door after the church service.  I don’t know whether this happens, but this garden is ripe for activities like this.

A log seat & a path that winds around the garden bed.   I like the hedge as well.

A casual log seat & a path that winds around the garden bed. I like the hedge as well.

The original brick fence has been retained – good for keeping a sense of local history, & a deep yellow low picket fence installed for the remaining perimeter. Orange jessamine (Murraya paniculata) has been planted to form a low hedge inside the fence line. It’s very good to see greenery added in this way, when many would have stopped at a fence.

The paths are very interesting & serve to help delineate the ‘rooms’ throughout this small space.  All the paths are permeable, which is terrific for stormwater management.  Getting rid of unnecessary concrete is something we should all be aiming to do in our own gardens.  Less concrete cuts out the heat retention as well.

Rocks, small wooden logs, wooden planks, pavers & old bricks have been used in artistic ways between areas of small pebbles. There is barely a straight line to be seen, which not only adds interest to the paths, but also softens the whole space. I believe that most people react well to curves, even if unconsciously.

Another section of the path through the garden.  I loved the different surfaces.  They served to attract your eyes down & into the garden.

Another section of the path through the garden. I loved the different surfaces. They served to attract your eyes down & into the garden.

Many of the plants are Australian natives & if they are not, they are fragrant & perfect for little hands to touch & smell.

For as long as I can remember, there have been trees & a thriving garden at the front of St Clement’s, which adds a rare patch of beauty along this stretch of Marrickville Road.

To me, St Clement’s is one of the historical ‘gateways’ to Marrickville with the Town Hall & Fire Station across the road & the lovely St Briget’s Church one block west. This is a section of particularly good historical buildings, so it is great to see another aspect of beauty being added in the form of a garden, which is visually & physically accessible to the community.

I really like what they have done. It is a captivating garden in my opinion & will only get better as the plants & trees grow.  Well done on receiving an award for this initiative.

Two wonderful fence posts incorporated to create a very Australian design.  Note the Red Flowering gum tree, which will also add beauty & colour, as well as provide food for wildlife.

Two wonderful fence posts incorporated to create a very Australian design. Note the Red Flowering gum tree, which will also add beauty & colour, as well as provide food for wildlife.

One of many seats offering a place to rest or contemplate.

One of many seats offering a place to rest or contemplate.

The paths really caught my attention.  They are permeable, using recycled materials & artistic.   They will be fascinating to children.

The paths really caught my attention. They are permeable, using recycled materials & artistic. They will be fascinating to children.

A small swale with a bridge.  Little touches like this were delightful.

A small swale with a bridge. Little touches like this were delightful.  You can see three variations to the path in this photo.

The Fairy Circle.  This is a whimsical place for children to sit & play, while in full view of adults at the church entrance.

The Fairy Circle. This is a whimsical place for children to sit & play, while in full view of adults at the church entrance.

 

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