Island escape: a look at an award-winning garden design


From the beach hut to the fire pit, this garden is more than a personalised paradise, it’s a work of art

Melbourne landscape designer Phillip Withers is known for his fun-loving approach to design and his flair for exciting plant and colour combinations. He brought all of these qualities to My Island Home, the award-winning garden he created for the Australian Garden Show Sydney 2014.

A timber boardwalk flanked by post-and-rope handrails led past a “sea of coral” to a beach hut outfitted with a lounge and hammock. The hut roof featured sustainably sourced latte hardwood poles from Touch Wood Trading, while the walls were fashioned out of Outdeco’s new Wooloomai patterned screen panels.

The wave-like pattern of the screens’ design reinforced the island theme and some were painted to add a splash of tropical colour and tie in with the timber decking. A sunken fire pit was located just a few steps away from the hut, providing a cosy place to gather.

One of the most engaging elements of the design was the “coral sea”, which was fashioned out of a diverse array of colourful plants, mainly succulents. Phillip is known for creating plant tableaux that imitate the forms and colours of other elements in the natural world and here his goal was to replicate the look of a reef.

In designing this garden, which was built by Semken Landscaping, Phillip aimed to create a place that would evoke the feeling of stepping out through your back door straight into a relaxed, deserted-island escape, which he clearly succeeded in doing.

At the Australian Garden Show Sydney 2014, Phillip Withers Landscape Design won a bronze medal in the Inspirational Gardens category plus the People’s Choice Award. 

For more information

Phillip Withers Landscape Design


Originally in Decks, Pergolas & Patios, Volume 5

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