Every dream home needs a backyard that’s just as impressive, and this garden design went beyond all expectations
After building their dream home in Northcote, Victoria, this family wanted a backyard that matched the modern grandeur of their new abode. The homeowners’ ideal garden was a seamless indoor/outdoor living environment that was spacious and reflected the contemporary lines and modern style of their new home. The homeowners wanted a beautiful and elegant backyard but they didn’t want it to be boring; it had to be a space that had personality and a subtle pizzazz. Landscape designer Nicholas Goff and Apex Landscapes were hired to turn the homeowners’ dream into reality.
“The owners wanted us to design and construct a pool and landscape that tied in with their newly built home,” says Nicholas. “They wanted a kid-friendly space that flowed from the house to create seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining … they wanted it to be unique and have personality.”
A whimsical theme was chosen for the garden as this would allow Nicholas and Apex Landscapes the creative freedom to introduce personality into the garden design, while still maintaining the subtlety and aesthetic flow between inside and out that the homeowners desired. The newly built home has a clean charcoal and white colour palette, which was adopted in the garden, as well as an integration of the home’s concrete and timber construction. Blackbutt decking matched the cedar house cladding while sandblasted bluestone pavers added a concrete-style element to the poolscape. Open steel-designed fencing was chosen for around the pool due to its intense charcoal colouring and artistic aesthetic.
The architecture of the house incorporates lots of straight lines and strong edges, so to counterbalance this, Nicholas integrated soft, curved lines in the design of the garden, including round pavers, round garden beds, and even a few round hedges scattered throughout the backyard. This subtle contrasting provides balance and harmony across the look of the home.
At the heart of the garden is the pool and spa with a wet area for relaxing, shaded by a custom-designed, laser-cut metal pergola. Another unique feature was also to play a big role in the aesthetic and performance of this garden.
A shipping container was positioned at one end of the pool area and the homeowners wanted it to be converted into a sheltered kitchen/bar space, ideal for backyard parties and entertaining.
“Two large openings were cut into the container: one for an automatic tilt-up door and one for a bi-fold window that was connected to the pool area while
still meeting pool-safety regulations. The container’s interior was also fitted
with plywood panels to match with the interior surfacing of the main residence,” says Nicholas.
The plant palette of this garden design was important in creating the subtle “wow” factor the homeowners desired. The main plant species that Nicholas and Apex Landscapes chose for this garden included Ficus hillii, Flash; Betula pendula, White Moss; Acer palmatum, Autumn Blaze; Trachelospermum jasminoides, Chinese Star Jasmine; Ophiopogon japonicas, Nana; Buxus sempervirens ‘Buxus Balls’; Gracillis bamboo; Phormium tenax, Apple Green; Cycas revolute, Cycad; Dichondra Repens, Kidney Weed; Liriope muscari, Giant Liriope; Ophiopogon intermedians, Stripey White; Asparagus Meyerii, Asparagus Fern; and Hebe ‘Emerald Green’. This arrangement of plants played with height, texture and shape, accenting areas of the garden when it was required, providing shade and privacy, and inevitably creating a natural, artistic masterpiece that will grow and evolve as the plants mature.
A clever combination of spacious planning, a minimal colour and surface palette, and an effective use of plant species to add texture and intrigue to the outdoor space have resulted in a backyard that is everything the homeowners wanted. Nicholas and Apex Landscapes have created a modern garden design with elegant lines and indulgent outdoor spaces. Dramatic charcoal steel accents, artistic foliage and the grandeur of the space achieve everything these homeowners wanted.
Written by Karsha Green
Originally from Backyard Volume 15 Issue 3