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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.

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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 – we would love to hear from you.

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