Award-winning outdoor sanctuary


This award-winning garden by Urban Escape Landscape Contractors is the perfect complement to its period-style home

It is easy to see why this garden took home one of the top honours in the 2012 Landscape NSW & ACT Awards of Excellence — the prestigious award for the best landscape in the Residential Over $300,000 category. With its impressive entrances, a sweeping driveway, a contemporary new pool, and lush plantings, this engaging landscape is the perfect complement to the elegant, period-style residence.

Working to a design by A Total Concept Landscape Architects, Urban Escape Landscape Contractors built the landscape in two stages, totally transforming the property into a series of useable outdoor spaces for recreation, entertainment, and visual enjoyment. This called for a new pool, a revamped tennis court, improved vehicle access, new gardens, and the construction of retaining walls.

The owners, busy professionals with teenage children, craved a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of their daily routines. Security was also important so Urban Escape erected a custom-made painted timber fence along the vast street frontage and fitted security intercoms to the entry gates.

Every site poses certain challenges. In this instance, the block was steep with some unstable retaining walls, which needed to be rebuilt. The new retaining walls were constructed with reinforced concrete blocks veneered with hand-cut Australian sandstone. The walling complements the extensive sawn sandstone paving and steps.

Plants were selected for impact, colour, and foliage diversity. More than 85 different species were planted throughout the property, with a carefully selected number of feature plants used for maximum visual pleasure. Striking visuals were created through the use of weeping Japanese maples, crepe myrtles, Chinese magnolias, and potted agaves.

One of the goals of the planting scheme was to create a feeling of spontaneity with splashes of colour. This was achieved through the liberal use of classics such as coastal rosemary, daisies, freesias, impatiens, and periwinkles, to name a few. Some accent plants, such as lambs’ ears, orchids, lilies, and angel trumpets were scattered throughout the landscape for added impact. To keep the plants lush and healthy, Urban Escape installed a fully automatic drip-irrigation system with rain sensor, which is connected to large rainwater tanks.

An essential part of the project was the demolition and replacement of the existing pool. Adding the finishing touch to the garden is a contemporary pool, which is fully automated along with the garden lighting, as well as a new outdoor shower. Now the family has a modern classical garden that works in harmony with the architecture of the house while providing everything the modern family needs.


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Photography by Peter Brennan


Originally from Outdoor Design and Living magazine, Volume 26

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