This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Cascading, Compact Garden That Envelopes This Sydney Home

Gardens

It may seem obvious, but living in close proximity to a thriving natural ecosystem can be the perfect remedy to our digitally saturated urban lives. That’s how Mark Bell from Bell Landscapes sees it, holding the view that a suburban garden holds the key to relaxation, reconnection and rejuvenation.

No matter how small they are.

29th June, 2020

A view onto the rear terrace garden. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Plants from the internal courtyard spill into the house when the sliding glass doors are open. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Pops of colour and geometry punctuate this urban oasis. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

The street-side entrance. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

A view to the front of the house with the internal courtyard in the foreground. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

The brief was to envelope the newly renovated terrace in greenery from all angles. Photo – Murray Fredericks. Architect – Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 29th June 2020

‘This garden will continue to gain fullness over time, and merge further with the architectural form of the build.’ – Mark Bell

Mark Bell of Bell Landscapes cautions against minimalism when designing a garden on a small footprint space. ‘There is the perception that using lots of plants encloses the space and makes it feel smaller.’ But rather, he says, empty pockets make the space feel sparse and underwhelming.

By carefully considering the compact dimensions and curating a thoughtful selection of plants, Mark devised a planting scheme of varied textures, shapes and sizes to create an illusion of depth in this suburban Newtown garden. This clever trick of layering is no more apparent that in the ground coverings, which are dense and varied, each offering different heights and textures of foliage.

Mark;s initial brief was to envelope the pre-existing terrace house with greenery. With a rear terrace, rooftop garden and internal courtyard to work with, his focus was to spread the plantings across various levels and sections of the site. Sticking to his maximalist mantra, Mark created lush verdant zones that punctuate the architecture and bring the living spaces to life. Plants literally spill into the hallway when the floor-to-ceiling glass doors slide open!

‘This garden will continue to gain fullness over time, and merge further with the architectural form of the build,’ Mark explains. ‘The roof garden plants will cascade beautifully like green waterfalls from above.’

Bell Landscapes has been engaged on a continuous basis to maintain the Newtown garden and ensure its longevity well into the future!

See more projects from Bell Landscapes here. See more projects from CplusC Architectural Workshop here.

This Week

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Artist, Designer And Small Businesswoman, Rachel Castle

The bubbly, effervescent design icon takes us through a day in her heavenly Marrickville studio - plus how she built her business from the g...
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Miraculous Floating Garden + Pool in Brisbane

A contemporary, low-maintenance interpretation of the Australian suburban dream!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Tale Of Two Trees In This Lush Inner-City Garden

This verdant inner-city garden is a hotspot of diversity, nestled between two trees: a gnarly, twisted frangipane at the front and a stately...
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

Garden Life update a tired inner-Sydney courtyard with a textured, elegant design that begs for a sunny afternoon Spritz!

This Week

Art

Artist Cressida Campbell Is Finally Getting The Spotlight She Deserves

A new exhibition at the NGA brings together more than 140 works from the artist's life and unique practice.

Architecture

A Compact + Colourful Extension Of A Fun Family Home

Foomann Architects replaced this Melbourne home's dated extension with a personality-filled renovation, behind a vibrant pink door!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Artist and Yindjibarndi Elder Wendy Hubert On Mapping Country + Culture

Our new columnist Jirra Lulla Harvey talks to respected Yindjibarndi Elder, artist, Cultural Custodian and linguist, Wendy Hubert about Coun...
Jirra Lulla Harvey

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Costume + Production Designer, Catherine Martin

The four-time Oscar winning designer shares insights from her career working alongside husband Baz Luhrmann, and how she helped bring 'Elvis...
Christina Karras

Homes

A Stylist + Podcaster’s Layered, Textured Seaside Home

Kerrie-Ann Jones’ renovated retro pad in Sydney’s southern beaches is a sun-drenched dream home!

Gardens

A Hawthorn Home Enveloped In Dreamy, Layered Gardens

This new family home is brought to life with lush gardens designed by Peachy Green – reminiscent of a flowering ‘woody meadow’!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Colourful Extension Inspired By Clinker Bricks

Wowowa’s Presto House is a vivid and respectful addition to a 1930s art deco home made from 'clinker' bricks.
Sasha Gattermayr
  20 hours ago

Shopping

8 Local Creatives Making Furniture That Doubles As Art

Meet our favourite designers and makers pushing the limits of traditional furniture with their sculptural and striking pieces!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kelly Thompson’s Playful Preston Showroom Clashes Colour In The Best Way

The clever creative behind online store, Makers’ Mrkt, gives us an inside look at her fun Preston stockroom-turned-store!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Landscape Studio Ayus Botanical On Creating Calming + Enduring Gardens

The husband-and-wife team of Ayus Botanical share the thoughtful processes behind their lush residential and commercial projects!
Christina Karras

Studio Visit

Kuku Yalanji Artist Tiarna Herczeg Creates Colourful Maps Of Country

The emerging artist shares how they found their creative voice and intuitive painting style, as their latest solo show opens in Sydney.
Christina Karras

Architecture

The Treasure-Filled Sydney Home Of Two Global Art Collectors

House Gezellig by Studio Prineas reflects their clients’ love for modernist design principles and collection of fine art.

Interiors

A Green New Addition For An Ageing Edwardian Home

Brave New Eco revitalises an existing Brunswick home for multiple generations with a new extension, natural material palette and clever use

Food

Julia's Irresistible Double Chocolate + Tahini Brownies

Is there anything more irresistible than a brownie? We think not! Especially Julia's, which come with double the chocolate, and a nutty swir...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Interiors

A Mediterranean-Inspired Holiday Home Right On The Water’s Edge

CLO Studios styled the interior of this new Noosa home (dubbed Sky Garden) with earthy tones and pieces by local artists.

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Miraculous Floating Garden + Pool in Brisbane

A contemporary, low-maintenance interpretation of the Australian suburban dream!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Tale Of Two Trees In This Lush Inner-City Garden

This verdant inner-city garden is a hotspot of diversity, nestled where you’d least expect it!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Fresh Courtyard Garden In Paddington With Californian Vibes

Garden Life update a tired inner-Sydney courtyard with a textured, elegant design that begs for a sunny afternoon Spritz!

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net