This innovative terraced garden provides the ultimate outdoor living environment
For some, a severely sloping site is a problem. For others, such as landscape designer Steve Taylor of Creative Outdoor Solutions, it’s an opportunity for innovation.
Faced with an uninviting and unusable rear garden, the owners looked to Steve and his construction team to transform their tricky backyard into a functional outdoor entertaining area that would make the most of the compact 19-metre-wide, 5.8-metre-deep space.
The rear yard now consists of five terraces, each with its own unique function, and the once useless garden now functions as a series of custom-designed outdoor rooms.
Multi-faceted, luxurious and inviting, the outdoor living areas are tailor-made for entertaining friends and family or just relaxing. The upper terrace consists of a garden seat positioned to catch the morning sun and a large retaining wall that functions as a planter box and the splashback for the full outdoor kitchen located on the terrace below.
This second terrace is the ultimate space for alfresco dining. It has a custom designed stainless-steel table, raised planter boxes that double as informal seating and a water feature plinth, clad in Bisazza glass mosaic tiles, that sends water spilling into the lower pond. Rendered facades and timber screens create an intimate feeling and block out the new medium density development to the rear of the property.
The third terrace provides somewhere cosy for after-dinner relaxation. Central to the space is a stunning fireplace boasting ECO Concepts’ Badger stone cladding. A testament to the fine stone masonry skills of the construction team from Creative Outdoor Solutions, the fireplace is framed by large 80mm-thick granite plinths (to protect the stored firewood), built-in bench seats with storage and feature planters displaying architecturally bold yucca canes.
The fourth terrace is designed to draw people out into the new outdoor living space, either to use the built-in spa or marvel at the Waratah light box (designed by Lump) that provides a stunning backdrop to the space. The fifth level terrace is comprised of an area of artificial turf and houses the clothes line, spa equipment and other utility items.
To add class and sophistication to the end Turnerresult, Steve used timeless natural Raven Granite paving, supplied by the expert team at Better Exteriors.
“By using natural stone we are able to order any size to fit the most complicated application,” says Mark Navakas from Better Exteriors.
Better Exteriors’ new range of form blocks was used for the structural walls. “These are a great innovation in the construction industry as they are stronger than traditional block walls, more efficient to erect and minimise the common problem of haze cracking that is often seen with the old methods,” adds Mark.
With environmental responsibility in mind, Steve chose plants that would require minimal water. Bush Christmas lily pillys, echeverias, yucca canes, Libertia ‘Summer Blaze’, cycads, bird of paradise and scatterings of black and dwarf green mondo provide an architecturally bold yet water-wise planting solution.
As part of their commitment to environmentally sustainable landscaping, they also installed a 7000-litre bladder tank under the subfloor of the house to top up the water feature and spa and irrigate the garden so it will look stunning year-round.
The family now has an outdoor living environment of unsurpassed luxury that allows them to enjoy the full outdoor room experience no matter what the season.
CREATIVE OUTDOOR SOLUTIONS
Photography by Tim Turner