Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 26 Spring 2010 Contents INSITE SPRING 2010 165
sustainable design OUTDOORS
tep back and look at nature.
That is the message from leading
Australian ‘garden designer’ (as he
likes to be called) Rick Eckersley.
This Melbourne-based maestro of the
outdoors has been defining our exterior
spaces for the past 30-plus years. Considered
by many to have evolved the ‘outdoor room’
concept long before Jamie Durie knew how
to lift a shovel, he’s today leading the charge
on the contemporary ‘dry tolerant’ garden.
“It’s all about design – you can manipulate
any garden to be sustainable. It’s about plant
choice and how you prepare the site,” explains
Rick. “Plants don’t have to be native, they
just have to be dry tolerant.”
Rick is applying his design nous to his
philosophies. This ‘dry-tolerant’ garden was
created on a Mornington Peninsula property
after securing it from its London owners
with a gentleman’s deal. Rick and Eckersley
Garden Architecture business partner Myles
Broad have applied a sustainable element to
their lifestyle-driven, contemporary-yet-
sensitive, signature style.
“We’ve been working on it for five yea rs.
For three years, we pretty much worked
every weekend. We had a bit of a break this
year, and have two years of weekend work
to go,” says Rick. “It’s very hard to convince
people to be sustainable – they think you have
open this to certain groups and individuals to
show them how it can be done.”
Half the battle is educating people on the
colours available in native and dry-tolerant
plants. Rick has created a wall of plant labels
Back to nature
Australian garden guru Rick Eckersley is leading the charge
for sustainable gardens, taking a ‘combination-ist’ rather than
a ‘purist’ view of dry-tolerant plants
RICK’S FAVOURITE ‘DRY TOLERANT’ PLANTS Austrostipa stipoides (coastal spear gra ss), Dianella
brevicaulis (s h o r e lin e) , Melaleuca lanceolata (moo na h), S edu m ‘A utu mn Joy’, Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia),
Dietes iridioides (wild iris), Clivia miniata (lemon chiffon), Euphorbia rigida, Nandina domestica (sacred ba mbo o),
Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine).
WORDS Anna Flanders PHOTOGR APHY Rick Eckersley + Keith Broad
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