Stage One


The plants selected for Stage One all have a job to do. Some plants are part of the complex of transpiration beds; they have to breathe hard to pump out all that excess moisture. Other plants are designed to hold the water in the stormwater reed beds (rain gardens) and slow its flow, purifying it as it moves along and making good use of the water to produce an attractive landscape up against the building itself without causing any structural damage. Then there are the shade trees and the productive trees and if we are talking food, a telling part of the Stage One landscape is the shared veggie garden.

The approach to landscaping tells a great deal about a place!

Generally speaking local indigenous plants have been selected as they do work just by being there; they attract local insects and birds and provide habitat corridors to the neighbouring parklands. They are also accustomed to surviving dry conditions without the introduction of watering systems. There are however also water-loving plants in Stage One but they do not have their thirst quenched by precious potable water but are instead fed from stormwater systems or through the evapo-transpiration beds. An example of this is the use of the Tristaniopsis Laurina (Kanooka or Water Gum), the beautiful streamside tree that frequents the rivers of East Gippsland, as a transpiration plant around the car park.

However, the local indigenous selection principle has been sacrificed on occasion to allow for productive gardens and evapo-transpiration plants. In another instance an ornamental native small Western Australian Eucalypt has been used because of its suitability in close conjunction to an historic building and to complement the stonework introduced by landscape artist Mel Ogden. To the north, the grassland meadow between WestWyck's northern frontage and the Victoria St fence was planted with indigenous wildflowers carefully selected for their variety of blue hues that blend with WestWyck's grey rendered walls and for their capacity to withstand long periods without water.

The Stage One landscaping provided WestWyck with an opportunity to introduce an artist and Mel's rock walls may resemble Stonehenge but they provide some privacy for courtyard gardens and a beautiful colour and texture contrast to the school building itself.

The Victoria St frontage features more artwork in the form of local artist Richard Fryer's camel, a symbol of survival in a water scarce landscape.

The Stage One landscape features permeable surfaces. The bitumen and concrete was largely removed to allow the earth to soak up the rain.

The Stage One landscape design was based around the minimisation of vehicle intrusion; vehicles were restricted to a confined landscaped carpark allowing for the maximisation of planting and restful places on the rest of the property. The carpark harbours an underground grey and black water system and it keeps an open vista to Hunter St, a designated heritage area in Moreland's Heritage Conservation Study. This design means that the street continues to relate to one of its most important traditional buildings.

Eastern transpiration bed:

(Selected to withstand both inundation and some period of prolonged drought)

Western reed bed:

(Selected to withstand both inundation and some period of prolonged drought)

Eastern reed bed:

(Selected to withstand both inundation and some period of prolonged drought)

Southwestern Reed Bed:

(selected to withstand both inundation and some period of prolonged drought)

Southeastern reed bed:

(Selected to withstand both inundation and some period of prolonged drought)

Carpark beds (east and west):

(Selected for evapotranspiration function)

Stonework plantings:

(selected for drought tolerance, for colour co-ordination with stonework and building and for lack of root damage to building)

Northern garden plantings:

(Garden bed fronting Victoria St)

Orchard plantings (communal garden area):