Outdoor Work of Art

Outdoor Work of Art


modern gardens

A contemporary design, this garden displays an innovative approach to the use of space

Designed for a family that loves to entertain, this Melbourne property has it all. There are two outdoor rooms — one for lounging about in front of the fire, the other for dining with friends — a well-appointed swimming pool and a gently undulating landscape that connects the home with the tennis court nestled in the far reaches of the garden.
A swirl of stainless steel draws the eye up and over a sculpted swathe of lawn, establishing an easy flow and a strong sense of connection. This lustrous work of art, however, is just one of several visual treats to be savoured in this deceptively simple garden design by Nathan Burkett Landscape Design and Construction.

Says Nathan Burkett, “The owners enjoy entertaining, so we set out to make as much of the garden as practical as possible. Given the price of real estate these days, efficient and creative use of space throughout a property often translates to dollars when the property is passed on to a new owner. Appropriate use of space should always be a key design principle, but this does not mean that all space should be trafficable or put to some practical use. We need habitat for our own wellbeing. Balance is the key.”
Achieving balance was critical to the success of this design, in more ways than one. The existing site was plagued with awkward level changes. Another challenge was the eastern boundary of the property, which was surrounded by a two-metre-wide concrete footing and afforded virtually no planting depth to screen the boundary fencing.
“My solution was to lift up the beds from ground level and maintain the soft yet structured characteristic of the site, with solid curved walls projecting out of the ground and returning back into the ground,” explains Nathan. “The curved walls became a key feature of the garden, drawing one’s eye from the house and alfresco dining area up to the level of the tennis court.”

Similarly, Nathan used the contours of the site to project the pool out of the ground, allowing it to fit seamlessly into the overall design.

Also key to the success of this project is the use of high-quality materials. From the granite paving and merbau timber decking to the pool fencing, the latter supplied by Haven Fencing, the emphasis is on style, quality and performance.

For ambience there is a well-considered lighting scheme, which includes subtle up-lighting of trees. To lend the garden a sense of subtle drama, massed low-level plantings, including Arthropodium ‘White Knight’ and Liriope ‘Evergreen Giant’, create a carpeting effect. Adding interest and pronounced vertical elements, the pleached, white-trunked Ficus hillii and the deciduous ornamental pear Pyrus ‘Capital’ stand like sculptures.

“My philosophy on design is simple,” says Nathan. “You have to be able to live and breathe in it and it has to be a part of who you are. With this in mind, I approach each project with the primary objective of interpreting the client’s needs and integrating this within the space.”

From the earliest design stages to final construction, Nathan remains in close personal contact with clients and it is this commitment that has helped Nathan Burkett Landscape Design and Construction to forge an enviable reputation for both design and construction. Nathan Burkett Landscape Design and Construction also boasts a close-knit team of highly skilled professionals including qualified architects, carpenters, builders, electricians, plumbers, lighting consultants and pool specialists.

Project details
Landscape design and construction by Nathan Burkett Landscape Design and Construction Phone (03) 9015 7791 Mobile 0411 304 641 Email info@nathanburkett.com.au
Website www.nathanburkett.com.au Pool fencing by Haven Fencing Phone 1300 888 780 Website www.havenfencing.com.au Photography by Andrew Ashton