Earthy materials and contemporary features blend to create a seamless integration of lifestyle and nature
Words: Rachel Falzon
Photos: Glenn Weiss
The owners of this very special property are fortunate enough to have the beauty of natural bushland just outside their site’s perimeter. What better way to celebrate nature, the scenic view and the amazing wildlife that calls their bushland surrounds home than with the ultimate Australian lifestyle addition: an outdoor room? Giving the owners the freedom to use their outdoor space no matter what the season or weather, this covered entertaining area is a year-round asset.
This is the second landscape Tecscape Landscaping Contractors has designed and built for the owners, as the company helped them with their last garden project only a few years earlier. Designed by Tecscape’s owner, Adrian Walsh, the landscape has successfully become an extension of the home’s living areas thanks to the huge entertaining cabana. Decked out with a dining table, lounge setting and coffee table, and equipped with ceiling fans for the warmer months and that Australian must-have, a barbecue, it has everything needed to entertain or relax in comfort and style.
Adrian wanted the garden to be a harmonic balance between the “hard” look of the contemporary home’s façade and the “soft” look of the bushland. For example, the timber decking and steps, granite pool coping and stone paving give an earthy feel while the semi-frameless glass fencing, stainless-steel cable handrail and glazed mosaic tile-band tie into the house’s modern style.
The cabana has been ingeniously positioned at a median height between the house and the pool to minimise the level change and create an easy flow when moving between the house, cabana and pool area.
The owners really wanted to update the look of the pool area, which involved the removal of concrete, a rock wall and pool coping. To provide extra space for relaxing with friends and family, the pool’s decking area was increased. With comfy sunlounges close by the pool, all that’s needed is a cocktail in hand for the resort-style feel to be complete.
As the pool is so near the home, new retaining walls that better complemented the home’s façade were installed and planted with tropical-style shrubs and ferns ideal for the climate. The higher wall around the pool is made of block that has been core-filled with concrete and rendered in the same paint colour as the house. The lower wall below the pool’s decking, separating the garden from surrounding bushland, is made of timber and was built with a curve to match the pool’s surrounds.
The bushland beyond creates the illusion that the garden is bigger than it actually is. Adrian played off this, opting for traditional-styled paving finishes mixed with natural timber to enhance the contemporary house design.
Some of the plants are new, such as Philodendron ‘Xanadu’, liriope and gardenia, and were chosen for their hardy, drought-tolerant qualities and strong green colour. Other more established plants were reused from the original garden, including frangipanis and grass trees, lessening the eco-footprint of the landscape.
Semi-frameless glass fencing was used to separate the pool from the rest of the garden, allowing for an uninterrupted vista. Instead of enveloping the property with fencing, the height of the garden has been used as an advantage here by creating a large, unclimbable retaining wall with a drop that creates a barrier between it and the bushland without the need for a view-impeding fence. The result is a landscape that appears to be one with the bush.
It’s the little details that make this garden special. At night, for example, the garden takes on a whole new look courtesy of a carefully thought-out lighting scheme that highlights focal points and plants. And, thanks to an intelligent design, the garden appears as though it has always been situated in its bushland setting.