This garden fits hand-in-glove with its coastal locale, bringing the best in modern Hamptons beach style
Evoking a modern Hamptons beach vibe, this charming waterside garden in Soldiers Point, a coastal suburb in the Hunter region of NSW, was conceived by award-winning landscape designer Gerrad Everson of Octopus Garden Design.
“The homeowners wanted a beautiful, private garden filled with flowers — one that would change with the seasons,” says Gerrad. “They favoured modern, clean hardscaping lines to match the home designed by Chris Clout Architects and it was important the garden be constructed with high-quality materials to ensure longevity given the punishing coastal location.
“The two-storey home is surrounded by public reserve lawn so no additional lawns were needed. This allowed for more planting and three usable alfresco spaces. The front courtyard is a tranquil, private space for coffee and reading; the central pool area is an oasis on a hot day; and the backyard alfresco dining area, fire pit and sun lounges are for entertaining and relaxation.”
The ground floor of the home comprises the living spaces and has a central hallway leading from the front door to the kitchen at the rear. This level is flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the central pool area and ocean views to the rear.
“Rather than just have views of water to the east, we designed a tiled concrete pool for the central courtyard and incorporated a pond in the front entry courtyard that is tiled to match the pool. This ensures water views from nearly every room in the house,” explains Gerrad.
“A sunken fire pit area to the water side of the property is surrounded by composite timber bench seating, stone-clad walls and an existing frangipani tree.
“We used a built-in ethanol fire pit to minimise maintenance. An additional two ethanol burners were installed in the raised garden beds flanking the alfresco steps to create extra visual impact from the home.”
Hardscaping materials were selected to complement the home. Porcelain tiles (a non-slip outdoor version of the interior flooring) were used for the front path, pool surrounds and rear terrace area. The house has several large sliding glass doors, so the tiles help to blur the lines between inside and out.
”The front fence comprises two overlapping masonry walls. One is clad on both sides with Newport stone and has a waterspout that pours into the pond that flanks the entry steps and separates the front courtyard from the entry pathway,” says Gerrad. “Moving to the rear garden, there is a composite timber poolside daybed deck with a custom-made white powdercoated steel cabana.”
Plants were chosen for their hardiness as well as their foliage, mainly focussing on soft greens, silver and grey, or seasonal blooms. The flower palette was limited to white and purple at the owners’ request and complements the modern white architecture. The end result is picture-perfect.
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This project is an entrant in the Outdoor Design 2022 NSW Landscaper of the Year Awards, celebrating residential design innovation and construction excellence. All entrants were featured in Outdoor Design Issue 42, with winners to be announced in Outdoor Design Issue 43.