Reflecting the style of the home and its owners, this period-style garden is a design triumph
This is a “come hither”, period-style garden with a modern twist. It’s stunning elegance tempts you outside and serves as the perfect complement to the residence. The home, nestled within the oldest section of Ashfield, a suburb in Sydney’s inner west, is awash with period charm. This distinctive character needed to be extended to the garden.
To achieve this, the owners looked to designer Chris Slaughter of Scenic Blue Design — and their wish list was long. They wanted, among other things, a swimming pool they could train in, a new pergola and patio, an outdoor fireplace and barbecue, an orchid house, garden storage and new bifold doors to seamlessly integrate the home’s interior with the outdoor space.
The goal, says Chris, was to design a garden that would provide a relaxed environment in which people could gather in casual groups. “Achieving connectivity between the new structures and the home was just as important, as was complementing the design of the home,” he says.
The new outdoor lounge area has a clay-tiled roof with a timber ceiling — these are traditional materials that marry perfectly with the home — and a fireplace. This is built of brick, another traditional material, as are the pergola supports and the retaining wall that runs along one side and provides the backrest for a built-in bench seat. “To add a sense of je ne sais quoi, this area has a sunken floor,” adds Chris.
“The bespoke barbecue station, with its fridge, sink and custom cabinetry, was designed in line with the lounge area,” he continues. “Next to the barbecue is a stone-paved dining space and flowing from that is a set of steps that gently lead you to the upper garden. The steps, which have plants growing between them, also double as casual seating when the family entertains.”
Once you reach the top of the stairs, you step into a totally different world. “There is a wide lawn and a garden seat for those laid-back reading days,” explains Chris.
“Directly in front of the seat — and set within the lawn — is a large steel water bowl. Liberal planting around the lawn embraces the space and softens negative views from neighbouring properties.”
From the seat you can see the L-shaped pool. The shallow end was designed for lazing about and has water jets for massaging sore muscles. The deep end has water jets, too, but these are more powerful and are used to provide resistance when the owners want to swim for exercise.
To cater for the owners’ passion for orchids, Chris designed a bespoke orchid house that provides ample space to hang the plants and store all the required gardening equipment. A garden shed was also required and this was designed to mirror the lounge and barbecue structures for a harmonious effect.
“The plants were chosen to generate a sense of balance, to be semi-formal yet still have a little non-conformity,” says Chris. With this in mind, the planting palette includes Acer palmatum ‘Senkaki’, Buxus microphylla var. Japonica, Buxus microphylla var. microphylla, Camellia sasanqua, Ficus lyrata, Liriope muscari ‘Just Right’, Magnolia grandiflora ‘Teddy Bear’, Rhaphiolepis indica ‘Snow Maiden’, Syzygium ‘Backyard Bliss’ and Tristaniopsis laurina ‘Luscious’.
The period-style garden doesn’t just echo the design of the home, however; it reflects the owners’ personal sense of style and the way they like to entertain. This can be seen in the way Chris has incorporated the owners’ personal art pieces into the garden design, also in the inclusion of modern elements such as an outdoor sound system and television. The result is a beautifully balanced garden with a traditional feel and a modern attitude.
Scenic Blue Design Pty Ltd
Mobile 0405 663 222