Somerville Garden 2019-09-23T00:34:20+00:00

Project Description

Somerville Garden

This Somerville garden has been an ongoing passion project for Botanix Plant Supply, whose specialist trees and plants fill the landscape.

The garden was designed and constructed by Phillip Johnson Landscapes in 2012. Developed around an existing dam, Phillip Johnson set about creating his signature landscape style of a natural billabong.

There is a special connection for Botanix – it is the personal garden of Sylvia and Alan Soderlund, parents of Botanix Director Carl Soderlund.

The brief to Phillip was to incorporate a variety of different plants not typically utilised in home gardens from the Botanix nursery, including specialist grafted natives. This garden was envisaged as a vehicle to showcase the suitability of these plants to residential gardens.

Over the last seven years, the garden has become much more than just a personal garden. Going beyond what was initially envisaged, the landscape has become a real arboretum to test both new and old varieties side-by-side.

As a trial garden it has allowed Botanix Plant Supply to show clients, contractors and staff the success of plants in a real garden environment.

However, the garden’s success is not just measured in how these plants perform in the landscape, but how they can also be used to great effect.

Copse plantings of dwarf Lemon-Scented Gums have been used to offer soft boundary screening, in place of a traditional hedge line.

This planting consists of a mix of Corymbia citrodora ‘Scentuous’ 8x5m along with Corymbia citriodora ‘Lemon Essence’ (6-5m); a new variety making in-roads in the market with its broad lush leaf.

Queensland Bottle Trees (Brachychiton rupestris) have been mass planted through gravel to achieve an intimate forest walk. Beneath, a simple planting of Lomandra and Xanthorrhoea glauca provide the impact.

These Xanthorrehoea have been grown from seed rather than being wild harvested. This is a more sustainable approach and reduces issues with transplanting.

Their accent foliage and flower spikes provide real interest in the landscape.

Project Details


2013 – ongoing




Residential – Large

The sculptural form of Wolgan Snow Gum (Eucalyptus gregsoniana) has proven to be a winner in the landscape, offering a true dwarf alternative to snow gums Eucalyptus pauciflora.

Hybrid Mallee Rose (Eucalyptus ceasia x rhodanthe) was a one-off trial which has performed well and along with a number grafted Hakea cultivars, bringing large numbers of birdlife into the landscape.

These grafted plants have been selected for their flowering and form and are grafted onto selected rootstock to ensure their suitability to our east coast soils.

The result is the ability to celebrate Australia’s diverse range of plants.

As an ever-evolving landscape Phillip is hands-on, with plans for the next stages and future plantings already in development.

Botanix Plant Supply is looking forward to see what comes next for this garden, with high hopes for its future development.