For the past 15 years, David and Anne Lymn have enjoyed a verdant life among the trees, with elevated city views looking out over a valley of native vegetation that leads down to a creek.
Now, the couple is selling their property at 22 Royal Avenue, Burnside, by auction on July 31.
Previously from the South East where they worked as school teachers and ran Mount Gambier’s Apple Farm, David and Anne Lymn sold the farm, moved to Adelaide and looked to build a new home.
With its surroundings that remind them of life in the country, they purchased land at 22 Royal Avenue, Burnside, and enlisted architect David Chapman to build a home that would hug the hillside of the steeply sloping block.
“David Chapman is a very forward-thinking architect and he’s got a character all of his own. He is an artist and there is a lot of his own identity about the aesthetics of his work,” says Anne.
“Our house in Mount Gambier was designed by the same architect, so we knew what to expect and we knew the way he worked.
“We wanted to bring the outside in so that wherever you stood, you could see trees. Our dream was to be able to look out, see the trees and feel as though you’re always in nature.”
The steep block posed a significant challenge that might have deterred the less ambitious, but Anne says that having negotiated plenty of challenges throughout their careers as farmers, they simply saw it as another problem to solve.
“We found the right guy who could do the excavation and after a few muddy and wet winters, it came together and the result is quite a remarkable house.”
Although the block is steep, the wide frontage allows for a large home.
David and Anne desired a floorplan with a central living space that would separate the parents’ rooms at one end of the house from the children’s bedrooms at the other, while the decked alfresco space would face west towards the city lights.
Initially, the idea was for a one-storey home, but that evolved to incorporate a lower level that houses a self-contained living space that the couple has previously rented out as private accommodation.
All up, the home can be configured to five bedrooms, but it is currently set up with a media room and a study.
An added bonus is the separate studio tucked away among the trees, providing a serene location for an artist, or simply a spot to sit and read a book.
“The studio was meant for me because I was an art teacher, but I never seem to have enough time to do any painting,” says Anne.
“It is somewhere to go and sit, read and enjoy being outside. Children love it too, because they can go down there and play.”
Now both retired, the couple is selling to downsize and will sorely miss the native environment and their gardens, into which they have invested much of their own hard work.
“We spent many years developing the gardens,” says Anne.
“My husband likes to build things, and he has been able to do plenty around the house, such as moving tonnes of stone to build the terraced gardens; they look fabulous,” says Anne.
“When we first came here, we came across Fernilee Lodge, which sadly they decided to demolish, but we were able to get hold of all the stones that were the part of the foundations.
“They now form the wall for our swimming pool area. So, we’ve got a bit of heritage there.”
Despite being built 15 years ago, the modern design of the home still holds up today.
It’s not hard to see that the gardens belong to retired fruit growers, with plantings of many varieties of citrus and other fruits, as well as a fantastic netted veggie garden which is home to apricots, figs, mulberries, and six vines of edible grapes.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with citrus this year. We’ve got lemons, oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, limes – everything you can imagine.
“Then, on the other side of the house we’ve got a new orchard that includes plums and quinces.”
Anne says the home would suit new owners who simply love being in nature, perhaps with children who are keen to explore.
“It’s been very special. We can’t see any other neighbours so we’re surrounded by this beautiful greenness and some really fabulous old trees, and yet at the same time, it’s clear and colourful and full of birds such as owls.
“It’s a haven for the local flora and fauna.”
Now, with the property too large for their needs, David and Anne hope to do some travel in their retired years.
“We love it here. It’s going to be quite a challenge to break ourselves away from it all.”
The sale is being handled by Brandon Pilgrim and Damien Fong of Ray White Real Estate.