Garden Design Study Group

Design of the Keith Moore Habitat Garden

Keith Naylor

From the May 2007 issue of the Study Group Newsletter.

The Keith Moore Habitat Garden is being developed at the Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson, New South Wales on the shores of Jervis Bay. The Sydney Harbour Ferry, 'Lady Denman', built at the Dent shipyard, Huskisson, in 1911 is on display at the complex.

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The overall aim of the design was to develop an Australian native plant garden that displays the local natural environment, incorporating local native (indigenous) plants that could be used for educational purposes. The garden was to be accessible to the public, especially the disabled. It was important to retain and have minimal disturbance to the existing frog habitat amongst the established native reeds and bulrushes but at the same time create other types of habitats around the edges of the designated area.

Keith Moore Habitat Garden, Huskisson, New South Wales Keith Moore Habitat Garden, Huskisson, New South Wales Keith Moore Habitat Garden, Huskisson, New South Wales Keith Moore Habitat Garden, Huskisson, New South Wales
Development of Keith Moore Habitat Garden, Huskisson, New South Wales
Left to Right: Aerial view; Volunteers from the Australian Plants Society preparing garden beds and pathways; Laying out garden beds and rock lining of watercourses; Laying out paths, stonework and garden beds.
Photos: Lady Denman Heritage Complex

The shape of the existing area lent itself to a modified shape of Jervis Bay. Therefore the design then followed the theme of Jervis Bay and surrounding areas by including various notable features around Jervis bay, such as Point Perpendicular, the Ruined Lighthouse, the Hole in the Wall, Bowen Island, many of the beaches, Currumbene Creek and a representative mooring post for Huskisson wharf. A small causeway, representing Plantation Point, was designated as a point where the public could walk out to experience the frog habitat. St. Georges Basin, Lake Windemere and Lake McKenzie are represented in a three-pond water feature. There were already stockpiles of sandstone rock on-site, originally from development work at the Vincentia Golf Club, which were to be fully utilised in the construction of the landscape, with other recycled materials. Sandstone rocks have been specifically selected and placed to represent these many features.

Indigenous plant species are to be used to form the themed vegetation types to be displayed in the garden. The vegetation types selected are Grassland, Dune Woodland/Heath, Heathland, Shrubland and Sedgeland. The plants selected, where possible, are to be botanically significant for the local area, horticulturally suited to the site and aesthetically pleasing.

Finally the design needed to take into consideration that the construction, planting and the long term maintenance of the garden was to be completed by volunteers. This then allowed another feature of the overall design of the garden to be towards a water wise garden and in itself provide another educational aspect to show how local native plants can be used in gardens.

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