Backyard with pool and greenery

Lush and inviting outdoor haven


This lush and inviting outdoor haven is designed to act as the ideal at-home getaway destination

Picture this. It’s a sunny Sunday and there you sit in your pool house, nice and cosy on a comfy lounge, refreshing drink in hand. In front of you, the cool water of the pool and the luxuriat landscape beckon. For one family in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn, no imagination is required — this is their reality, summer through to winter, thanks to the design and construction expertise of Erin Green, director of Nature’s Best Landscapes.

“When I was brought on board by the owners, the design was still very much in the early conceptual stage. This afforded me the opportunity to review all the details and fine tune the overall design of the pool house, pool and surrounding garden,” says Erin.

“The design is well structured, with the garden beds, pool and pool house revolving around a large central lawn. The standout features are the sleek, minimalist pool house and the wet-edge pool. The pool house complements, not competes with, the pool.

“The homeowners are admirers of Marc Merckx, a Belgian designer known for his modern, pared-down approach. Taking our cue from this, we gave the pool house a clean-lined black facade that contrasts with the striking blue of the pool’s tiled interior surface and the vibrant green of the planting palette. Just as importantly, although of highly contemporary design, the pool house sits in perfect harmony with the heritage-listed 1880s house.”

The exterior of the pool house is wrapped in Colorbond Night Sky steel cladding, the dark tones working in complete accord with the polished concrete flooring and the on-trend grey granite pool surrounds, steps and garden paving. “To make entertaining easy, the interior is equipped with an audio system and TV that can be watched from the pool and spa,” adds Erin. “The pool house also has a full bathroom, a gym, heating and mood lighting, making it the perfect, self-contained backyard getaway.”

Lush and inviting

The planting was just as well considered. A Ficus hillii ‘Flash’ hedge frames the pool and acts as a backdrop along the rear fence. A hedge of viburnum embraces the lawn, continuing the structured look and adding to the layered feel. “As you move away from the central lawn, the planting is more relaxed. Plants include Euphorbia, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’, which spill over and soften the walls, prostrate rosemary and Stachys byzantina, better known as lamb’s ears, for colour and texture. These plants were also chosen to cope with the existing large peppercorn tree that competes for sun and water,” explains Erin.

The entire project progressed without a hitch, despite the property’s location on a main road. “Given the traffic and trams, entering and exiting the property was challenging, especially as over 600 cubic metres of earth had to be removed, but with careful planning and traffic management, construction took place in a seamless and efficient manner,” says Erin.

As for the end result? Well, that is a lush and picture-perfect urban oasis the entire family and visiting friends can enjoy.