In 1995, Mel purchased a 4.5Ha piece of land in Lyonville, Victoria, for her first large-scale landscape design to further develop a concept surrounding the planting of a series of interconnected sculptural works. The property had good topographical bones, was bare of vegetation other than a strip of bush connecting onto the Wombat Forest, basalt soil, good water catchment ability, high rainfall and cold temperatures.

The intention was to translate a body of specific concepts to the physical site. Each space was to be imbued with the sensibility of a particular experience of a landscape - a clarity of presence in a moment and place in time.

The property was intended to be experienced by individual visitors rather groups. In that way, it would be possible to explore the notion of private vs. public spaces and explore how individuals relate and respond to a landscape on their own terms.


Mass plantings were used to heighten the visual impact of each space or element, such as a layering of the canopy, or a sense of enclosure, release, movement or stillness.

Spatial dynamics alter as soon as you add, subtract, or place another object or person within it - everything is interrelated and co-dependent. Thus, the act of making a landscape became a very personal dialogue between Mel’s aesthetics, the materials, and their growth and change over time.

There are now 13 identifiable spaces in which the emphases shift as the spaces’ features change with the seasons - from the architecture of the tree to the flowering of the blossom, and variations in the colour and fullness of foliage. Changes are not only evident within each space, but between spaces, providing each work with a similar or contrasting of form, texture, or colour.

This strong visual flow throughout the entirety of the works and buildings is based on curved lines and elliptical forms. Together, they suggest a range of possible pathways as people navigate from one space to the next.

After 18 years of working on the project, the property was sold and is now being cared for by others.