Sydney in Bloom Project

This garden was designed as if for a rooftop space in the inner city. The clients worked all day and wanted a nocturnal environment.

Plants used

Maple - Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’ Bamboo - Phyllostachys bambusioides cv Castiloni


Photos by Bruce Usher


The landscape design was inspired by a dramatic scene from Puccini’s opera ‘Madama Butterfly’. A Buddhist priest storms on stage denouncing Butterfly for changing her religion so she can marry an American naval officer. His proclamations are punctuated by the crash of a gong. It is a quiet reflection after these tumultuous events.


The structure of the garden is based on a musical rhythm, two against three, and explores this visually.

Butterfly is represented by a Weeping Maple, supplied by Imperial Gardens in Terry Hills, Sydney.


Her lover by the basalt sentinel and her son the marble piece. Stone from Italy supplied by El Cid Marble Works in Botany.


The ripples in the quartz represent her love for them.


The gong is from the Wuhan gong factory in China, supplied by Optimum Percussion in Burwood.


The bamboo blind was supplied by House of Bamboo in Botany.


Paint colour is Mission Brown with a dash of cream, supplied by Andersons Hardware in Naremburn.


The bamboo to the left is a running bamboo, best kept in a pot! Supplied by Mr Bamboo in Terry Hills.

© 2018 Garden Symphony