I dig old stuff.

A closer look at Reservoir’s vintage beauty

Reservoir gets a bad wrap – mostly from people who’ve never ventured beyond Bell Street. Sure, there’s the odd burn-out and misplaced shopping trolley on the nature strip, but so what? It’s a great suburb. 

So what’s to love about Reza? Let’s start with the houses. There are some absolute treasures to be found. Classic brick houses from the 1960s with rounded entry ways and fancy wrought-iron fences. Cute weatherboards with stripey awnings and names like “Oriana” and “La Roc”.


The “La Roc” house. Note also the etched glass in the entryway.


A fancy house with a fancy entry-way


Speaking of fancy, a lot of houses around Reservoir have elaborate house numbers.

I stroll around the streets sometimes, admiring people’s front yards. You never know what you’ll find from one block to the next. For example, the other day I came across two tyre swans.

I’ve previously written about my love of old-fashioned garden ornaments. It’s a big love, which embraces everything from sleeping Mexican garden statues to shonky homemade water features, but nothing comes close to my love of the almighty TYRE SWAN. These days they’re hard to find, too. I’d go as far as to say that they’re practically extinct.


Two tyre swans on custom-built perches. I should probably have photoshopped the tap out, but I think it adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to this photograph.

The only other tyre swan I’ve seen in recent years is at the Reservoir Tip Shop.** It has a “NOT FOR SALE” sign next to it, so don’t waste your time asking how much they want for it. Instead, I recommend that you venture out the back of the Tip Shop to wade through the junk. A few years ago I was lucky enough to find a whole stack of gorgeous 60s tyre planters there. What a great day that was.

If tyres aren’t for you, never fear: there are other magical things to be found around Reservoir. Take this enormous Mexican Hat planter, for example:


A colourful mexican hat planter amidst the weeds (there are two on this front porch).

Or this giant wishing well.


Make a wish!

Or how about a bit of classic ‘Australiana’ – the concrete kangaroo? I stumbled across this statue by accident the other weekend. As I was standing there swooning over it, the owner – a little Italian lady – came out to say hello. She told me that her husband had cemented the kangaroo in place back in 1979. They emigrated from Italy in the 1940s and ever since then his relatives back home had referred to him as Uncle Kangaroo. Isn’t that a nice story?


Classic Australiana beauty – an original Kangaroo ornament. Solid concrete!

So next time you’re lost for something to do on a sunny afternoon, I highly recommend that you go walking around your neighbourhood. See what you can find, and who knows – you might be lucky enough to meet the locals and learn the history of their gardens, too.


**UPDATE:  Since I wrote this, you’ll never believe what happened – I got a lead on TWO vintage tyre swans located in Ballarat (thanks Stratostreak Vintage)! I am now the proud owner of two rare species. Right after I finish giving them a spruce up, they’ll be released back into their natural habitat: the front yard. Dreams do come true, people!



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