This Keilor Downs backyard is the epitome of resort-style living in the ‘burbs of Melbourne
Nothing ruins the fantasy of a grand and functional yard faster than an awkwardly shaped block of land. Dreams of a lap pool are dashed and the expansive veggie patch you planned needs rethinking.
The same was true of this Keilor Downs property in Melbourne. The clients’ brief was to design and build a series of functional, low-maintenance entertaining spaces that blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Apex Landscapes designed and constructed a series of creative solutions to promote usable space without compromising on comfort or aesthetic appeal.
The use of an off-set spa in the pool and an open landscaped courtyard in the rear outdoor room helped to cleverly fulfil the brief. “The clients wanted somewhere visually stunning to enjoy time with their friends,” says Apex Landscapes director Matt Seymour. “The alfresco area creates an amazing amount of undercover entertaining space, while the abundance of natural light entering through the clever incorporation of skylights adds practicality and functionality to that spot.”
With “contemporary resort” listed as the style of choice, a pool and spa were essential. The crew from Apex Pools and Spas stepped in with a spectacular set-up featuring monochromatic ceramic tiling, with black glass mosaic tiles covering the raised spa and white ceramic tiles casing the pool. Boosting its “contemporary resort” credibility, the pool enjoys a spillover edge on three sides. An impressive, and imposing, aloe tree is the standout feature in the front yard and sets the tone for the rest of the green spaces. Gracilis bamboo and Bambusa oldhamii (giant timber bamboo) were used throughout the front and back gardens, with chalk sticks (Senecio serpens), asparagus ferns and dichondra adding a dollop of floral magic and colour contrast to the base of the Japanese maples. Another inspiring planting combination is the silver birch trees emerging from the mass of buxus balls.
Stone walling and silvertop ash screen boards cocoon the rear courtyard, while durable bluestone paving adds timeless charisma to the space. To ensure the contemporary theme was carried through each outdoor area, polished concrete creates a modern contrast with the paving and highlights the change in levels. As well as keeping the family happy, this sustainable garden also preserves water thanks to a watering system that runs from its own stand-alone water tanks. Solar heating ensures the pool is at a comfortable temp all year round without affecting the power bills.
“The garden courtyard in the rear entertaining space is my favourite part of the garden,” says Matt proudly. “This area was integral to the overall concept of the landscaped property and is a real family-friendly entertaining space. The visual impact of the pool and spa from here is striking.”
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Written by Louise Smithers
Photography by Jenna Fahey-White Photography
Originally in Backyard Volume 15 Issue 5