The before shot showing the unloved, messy front garden. 
The first step was removing the unwanted planting (pretty much everything) and putting in a new fence. 

Then contouring the garden with a dry river bed, raised deck and bluestone pavers in gravel. 
The new plants go in. 

The original house was dated and closed in. Windows needed replacing, decking built and painting completed. 

The finished product was a fresh and modern look, highlighting the lovely red clinker bricks. 

The completed garden shots with a pop of red to contrast the silver and green colour palette.  

Unique Matthew Shaw designed pedestal planter available now. Contact Matthew on 0412 666 217 for details.

Using earthen textures in the crazy paving to blend in with the bush setting, Matthew has created a functional and stylish outdoor living area and a bush track entrance for this young family.

One of Matthew's inner city gardens is being featured on the cover of this month's House & Garden magazine. Planted only 2 years ago, this tropical garden interplays with the raw materials of Matt Gibson's architectural design to provide an inviting and visually exciting contrast.

Sometimes a garden doesn't do a house any favours. The owner requested a new landscape that reflected the architectural style of the house and brought a more contemporary feel to the property.

Working around the established plants that were to remain, compact yet key areas were highlighted with dramatic lines of Dracaena draco, mature Ponytails and Strelitzia juncea.

Four examples of landscape designs by Matthew Shaw for inner city Melbourne clients. Two show different approaches to the same garden aiming to create a space that pleases and fills the needs of the client.

Commissions are available for your garden. Please contact Matthew on 0412 666 217 for an obligation free discussion.

Recent pictures of a sustainable, low maintenance landscape created some years ago. Enjoying the maturing of the sub-tropical garden at the farmstay residence is both rewarding and beautiful. The influences of this environment flows through to many of my current designs.

Matt Shaw
The Underground Garden III
plants (grevillia), soil, rocks, burnt logs
(installation detail)

This is the third Underground Garden installation at Platform by horticulturalist and artist Matt Shaw for 2009. This work shifts the setting of the previous installation of Boxed In from the night cityscape that was slowly being taken over by plants, and transplants us into a slice of forest recently burned in the Black Saturday bushfires. Consisting of indigenous plants and burnt logs from his friends’ properties outside of Melbourne, Matt has created a memorial to not only the victims of the bushfires this year but shows us that new life always springs back from destruction.

Matt Shaw is a Melbourne based horticulturalist and artist specialising in creative and sustainable gardens, for more information visit Matthew Shaw Designs.

The front of this gorgeous bungalow was desperately in need of some attention. The entrance to the property should have been an inviting companion to this house.

By creating a low-maintenance, drought-resistance solution for this neglected space, it turned from being from an unusable area into an extra entertaining space, a safe play zone for kids and an attractive outlook for the property.

A pump driven, sprinkler system feeds the water from the tank directly onto the lawn. An automatic timer does all the hard work for you. Only 10 minutes per week kept this grass healthy all through the dry summer.

Finally this impressive home has a garden frontage worthy of it's stature.

These photos demonstrate how a grey watered lawn in St Kilda survived the record breaking heatwave that Melbourne experienced in February 2009. Despite temperatures over 43C for 3 days in a row and a peak at 46.4C, this lawn still looks lush, healthy and fresh.

An easy installed, underground irrigation system directly feeds grey water from the household into the root system of the turf, ensuring a year round green lawn. No manual handling of water is required and as the grey water is distributed under the turf, there is no visual residue or safety risk.

An example of an established MSD garden using a combination of natives, exotics and succulents to create a lush textural environment. Watering demands are reduced and the visual impact increases with maturation of the planting.

Matthew's latest commissioned work for Platform Artist's Group in the Degraves Street underpass is "designed to remind us of nature’s enduring strength, and our opportunity for future sustainability". Read more about the exhibit at the Platform site.

This side courtyard has a small area with main views from the master bedroom and needed theme colour to enhance the aspect. Conical pots were reshaped and set in the ground to give the illusion of strelitzia growing out of large pots. Matthew's sculptural designs show how effectively colour and art can be incorporated with plants.

Matthew was invited by Platform Artists Group to create The Underground Garden in one of the leaky display cases. Platform shows contemporary artists each month in the Degraves Street Subway in Melbourne CBD, and the Garden will now be a regular feature in the program. For the first installation, the challenge was to see which plants would survive for a length of time under flourescent lights. The result was a lush, succulent and tropical design using retro metal cylinders as vessels. After four weeks underground, the garden is growing and evolving.

This tiered, bromeliad garden was incorporated into a 1960 architect-designed house in Caulfield. The planter elements included various reconstructed industrial elements. Designed to mimic tree trunks, the planters gave height and cascading foliage to the internal deck area.

Matthew was brought on to design the sculptural elements in this Jamie Durie garden design. One of the works seen here in the foreground is Vertical Chain by Melbourne sculptor Fred White.

A collaborative sculpture between Matthew Shaw, Fred White and David Wood for a private residence in Melbourne. Part of a series of works that create a contrast between modern urban architecture and industrial art.

Fire Extinguisher Conversion is a continuation of Matthew's reclaimed industrial sculpture. Some of these works are available through The Collective Melbourne shop on Carlisle Street in St Kilda.

Views of the city helped inspire this succulent rooftop garden in Port Melbourne. A careful selection of drought and wind tolerant plants were combined with rusted earth tones in the pots and teak furnishings. A lighting design was also included to highlight the plants at night framed by the city lights and bay views.

Matt recently appeared in a Herald-Sun HOME magazine feature on his work. Focussing on Matt's industrial plant sculptures, the full page piecce discusses his landscape design as well as the work with interior sculpture at Cool Room and Collective in St Kilda. Click on the image to download the complete article!

Industrial jerry-cans were appropriated for this organic installation growing bromeliads. The various pieces form a window display at artist-run space Collective in St Kilda. Other work features metal kerosene heater fittings, fire extinguishers and other rusted industrial components.

Designed to match the warm interior of an inner city house, this courtyard includes raised timber beds planted out with timor black bamboo, water-efficient succulents and a colourful Boston ivy rambling over the fence. White stones spread over the beds compliment the white leather furniture inside, helping to create a subtle visual connection between the two living spaces.