Here’s a chance to see a compact, clean slate new build garden that despite its young age (only a few years) is already flourishing. At only 700sq metres, it’s designed for easy maintenance and maximum joy.

92 Solway Crescent, Solway

Chief gardener Mary Blakemore-Francis jokes that it used to take four hours to mow the lawn (of her then one-acre garden) and now it takes 10 minutes. Growing up in England, as a young girl Mary was attracted to English cottage garden designs. She admits she loves the beauty of a green lawn and she is an experienced pruner of trees and vines. But when it came time to downsize she embarked on building a new house in town with enough garden to be pretty, and close, but not so much as to require hours of hard labour.

The result is a green lawn visible from nearly every room in the house, with a green griselinia hedge interspersed with pink pops of colour from camellia Nicky Crisp to soften the boundary fence.

The garden surrounds the house in a horseshoe shape. The spaces allow for outside entertaining, a corner garden planted with around 10 roses mixed with perennials and annuals offering colour year round. There are terracotta pots, a herb garden, a cute garden shed and terracotta rugby ball (a nod to husband Bob Francis’s rugby referee days) and climbing roses (including Cecil Brunner). Carry on around the house and exit via raised vege beds and colourful hanging baskets along the fence line.

Mary and Bob both enjoy the physical and mental benefits of sharing the gardening tasks in their young small urban garden.

As this is a small garden, numbers will be limited to about 30 at a time inside the garden to allow for 1-metre distancing.