Multi-level garden design with entertaining area and pool

This multi-level garden design offers something for everyone


This charming multi-level garden design provides a place to relax, entertain and so much more

We all crave an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and this garden provides the perfect place of retreat. Whether strolling around the garden, seated by the pool or enjoying a meal cooked in the outdoor kitchen, the family who call this property home have the suburban oasis they always wanted thanks to this thoughtfully-built multi-level garden design.

The homeowners had just completed renovation work on their house so they turned to Ross Williams Landscaping to transform their tired and impractical 1980s landscape into a garden befitting a young family that likes to relax and entertain outside. While the family was content to leave the major design decisions to Ross Williams, they were very clear on one thing — the new design had to complement the existing structural elements.

“The new materials had to blend with the dry-pressed brick of the home’s exterior and the old Sydney sandstock bricks and sandstone of the existing retaining walls,” explains Ross. “The meant I had to work with these traditional elements and find a way to incorporate new, contemporary elements in a harmonious way.”

The creation of an outdoor entertaining area next to the existing swimming pool was a key part of the new design. Large-format natural stone paving gives the space a crisp, clean look that is mirrored in the sleek lines of the outdoor kitchen. “We used tumbled travertine pavers in the entertaining area and for the steps. We chose this because it doesn’t show stains and dirt so much and its slightly rustic look complements the textured finish of the brick retaining walls and the rock faced sandstone planters we built next to the steps,” says Ross. “For the pool area, we used complementary large-format Mint White Himalayan sandstone.”

The key feature of the entertaining area, which is furnished with a dining table and chairs protected by a large market umbrella, is the outdoor kitchen. This has a sink, seven-burner barbecue and bar fridge along with ample granite bench tops and sits beneath a pergola with a roof that blends seamlessly with the style of the house. Behind the kitchen is a horizontal timber batten screen built out of oiled spotted gum.

The plants lean towards the more traditional and include the sweet viburnum used to soften the timber screening by the pool. Gardenias were introduced for their scented flowers and glossy green leaves and mondo grass as a border planting to soften edges. Magnolias, camellias and abutilon complete the picture.

As this was a sloping site with several level changes, the Ross Williams Landscaping team faced access challenges. To get all the materials in and out required the use of a track loader and ramps up flights of steps along with many buckets and much hard manual labour. The effort was well worth it and the results speak for themselves.

For more information

Ross Williams Landscaping

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.

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