Thursday, 2 May 2013

Grant House - 8 The Parapet

Although financed by, and named after, the Melbourne theatre producer, Julius Grant, this house is more well-known as the residence of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin, from 1925 until 1936. I showed you another shot of the front of this house during Theme Day.

As I clamber the paths and tracks of Griffin's original estate, it becomes increasingly clear, that the jungle is just itching to claim its own back. There is a massive dichotomy pervading the estate: maintain the vision; or, move with the times. One can see it in the houses, both their design and their maintenance. One can see it in the landscaping: run wild, or tame the savage beast. This is most evident at the rear of #8. A narrow access path down beside the garage leads to a fork. To the right, lies Turret Reserve. Straight ahead lies Lookout Reserve. Except thate the look no longer is 'out'. Houses have filled Griffin's blank canvas. The trees that Walter and Marion are thought to have personally planted at the rear of their home, have grown somewhat in 80+ years.

The rear of #8 has a charminly wild sense to it, backing onto the reserve as it does. But it is a tangled mass - not really mess. Perfect for climbing and chasing. Except I was there during school holiday time, and nary a child in sight. Lots of adults though: walking each other, walking a dog, jogging uphill.


PerthDailyPhoto said...

It reminds me of an Edna Walling garden Julie, her book The Gardeners Log (so old) is my guide :)

Kay L. Davies said...

"Jogging uphill" exhausts me just reading the words.
So hard to maintain those old estates when it involves hand-to-hand combat with a jungle.
Gorgeous photos, though, Julie.
I hope you are well...well, as well as can be expected. Obviously you're out and about, so that's great!
Luv, K

FigMince said...

Yeah, where were the kids? The bottom shot reminds me of the extensive overgrown grounds of an old mansion in what was then the dead-end of Merlin Street, Neutral Bay, where we had great adventures as kids. (It later became North Sydney Rugby League Club, but now it's been replaced by blocks of flats.)

Thanks for listing my blog on yours, Julie. I hadn't got FeedBurner connected when you did, so if you're interested enough to re-list it, you'll get a thumbnail added, I believe.

head in the sun said...

'run wild, or tame the savage beast?' -
yes, I have struggled with that question in my garden.
I settled on contained wildness.
It's my favourite gardening style.
I like the democratic approach - ie: there's room enough for all of us!

head in the sun said...

Did I read somewhere you said you were heading to Canberra?
Can you believe the next thing I opened after this post was my newsletter from the National Library featuring the Griffin's in Australia's Capital Exhibition?
(but you knew about that already, right?)

Joe said...

The columns give this dwelling quite the palladium feel. Perhaps all the children were inside playing computer games.

Joan Elizabeth said...

Ah yes, my garden is testament to what nature will do if not kept tamed. It is a rather nice effect in moderation, because I remember what it was like before we did some semi-taming and that was before others had done the really hard work of restoration.

Back in the past our home was owned by both keen gardeners and a landscape gardener. You are right about the big trees ... 100 years of growth makes some quite massive specimens.

Julie said...

They both have their own charm, Joan.However, a bit of taming helps with resale, I suspect.