Making the most of its bushland views and coastal location, this rustic garden is a place of great serenity
With the beach just a stone’s throw away and tranquil views of established gum trees all around, the owners of this Victorian property, previously owned by the singer Xavier Rudd, wanted a new swimming pool and garden to reflect the natural beauty that surrounded them on all sides. To achieve their vision, they turned to Inge Jabara Landscapes.
During their initial meeting with designer Inge Jabara, the homeowners explained they wanted a sustainable and eco-friendly garden, one that would have a rustic garden vibe and a beach-bush getaway feel, not unlike what you’d find in a wellness retreat in Queensland.
One of the first things Inge addressed was the lack of a formal entrance to the home. “Previously, the owners had been using the back door as the main entrance, so I created a meandering boardwalk through the gum trees to the grand front door,” she explains.
“Another major change was to build a pool where the old driveway and parking area had been. I always try to design gardens that have minimal impact on existing services, however the only possible location for a pool — one that did not sit under a gum tree — was the driveway area. As I wanted to move the cars from the front of the house to the back anyway, this worked out well, creating room for not only a new pool, but a garden and large lawn area too.
“I also moved the section of the driveway that had circled the house further into the bush. Now you enter around the perimeter of the boundary and turn towards the back of the house, where new guest car parking has been made and a car port built. This keeps the new pool, entertaining area and gardens car-free.”
Every element of the design, which includes the materials, has been carefully considered. Take the fencing as an example. This was created from timber-capped steel reo mesh to provide uninterrupted views of the surrounding bush but keep the family’s dogs contained. For the boardwalk, Inge chose spotted gum timber; for the paving, Kakadu Slate crazy paving, and for the pool’s feature infinity wall, granite.
The pool, which was designed by Inge Jabara Landscapes and built by Franklin Pools Australia, is, of course, a standout feature of the new landscape design. “The homeowners wanted a fresh-water pool so a special pool filter was designed to achieve this, meaning no chlorine is required,” says Inge. “Both the pool and house are totally reliant on tank water and are connected to solar panels for increased sustainability. For ease of use, all the pool functions are operated via a Wi-Fi controlled Viron Connect automation system.”
Given the property’s close connection to the bush, plant selection was key. “We used mostly a palette of native plants that were local to the area, such as Themeda triandra, Dianella tasmanica and Rhagodia spinescens to encourage native animals. However, the homeowners did want some ornamental flowering plants for one garden bed so for this I chose a mixture of Salvia officinalis, Echium candicans and Aloe vera. In addition, there is a full working veggie garden,” says Inge.
This is a garden designed to be enjoyed, so making outdoor entertaining easy was a priority. Part of that included relocating an existing pizza oven and building a hand-crafted spotted gum timber-topped prep bench beside it. This part of the garden, which directly overlooks the pool, is the perfect spot to relax, share a meal with friends and take in the beauty of the bushland beyond the property’s boundary.
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