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A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Gardens

Before Fig Landscapes got to it, this 1-acre block in Binna Burra in the New South Wales hinterland was an empty cow paddock filled with weeds and camphor. In fact, before the clients occupied it, there wasn’t even a house here.

On purchasing the property, the the new owners relocated a traditional Queenslander to the hill, and engaged Grant Boyle of Fig Landscapes to design a garden that would reconcile the old home with its new surrounds. The result is a relaxed country garden filled with native plantings and raw, earthy materials that complement the surrounding landscape. Oh, and a pretty dreamy plunge pool!

15th June, 2021

Fig Landscapes added a deck, pool, an adjacent fire pit and veggie patches at the rear to this one-acre plot in Binna Burra. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

The plunge pool is skirted by fuzzy tufts of pennisetum. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

The view from the pool out over the rolling hills beyond is pretty magical! Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Via a set of timber steppers, the deck melts into an outdoor entertaining area replete with a fire pit. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Yellow everlastings sit alongside other natives such as kangaroo paw and purple brachycome to bring delicate pops of colour to the scheme. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Sandy gravel covers the floor of the fire pit, a similar colour to the fringe of pennisetum at its edges. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

The house is a relocated Queenslander. The job of the garden was to reconcile the transposed residence with its new location. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Raw timber and corten steel were chosen for their natural look and feel that would ease the transition between house and garden. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

A veggie garden was an essential requirement! Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

‘The grasses have definitely changed how the garden feels now. They add so much drama and interest and create such a peaceful and inviting setting,’ says Grant. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Organic veggies spill over the edges of their timber planter boxes. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Soft and hard textures create depth in a country garden that is designed to feel rustic and relaxed. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

The house and the fire-pit aglow together at dusk. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

‘The fire pit rounds out the experience with a place to enjoy evening drinks and take in the sunsets and stars,’ says Grant. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Sandstone boulders lie on the fringe of the gravelled area for people to perch around the fire. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

The view over the neighbouring rolling hills looks gorgeous at sunset, with the outdoor fire blazing. Photo – Jessie Ann Harris.

Sasha Gattermayr
Tuesday 15th June 2021

A lot of work goes into making a home feel like a home, but more often than not the garden is never mentioned in the process. Though joined at the seam, we tend to think of houses and their gardens as separate entities.

This landscaping project by Fig Landscapes in Binna Burra proves that is not the case. Landscape architect Grant Boyle was engaged by the new owners of a one-acre-block to create a garden around their house: a Queenslander that had been relocated to the rolling green property. Expert landscaping was required to settle the old house into its new surrounds.

‘The clients wanted a focus on low-maintenance natives that had a distinct, relaxed country feel,’ explains Grant of their vision for the country weekender. ‘There was a large focus on growing their own organic food that guests could enjoy, as well as a plunge pool and deck for enjoying the Byron summers.’

Steppers descend from the deck and plunge pool to an adjacent sandy gravel pit, which houses a fire-pit surrounded by a ring of native grasses and sandstone boulders for perching. Here, raw timber and bronzed corten steel were selected for their rustic country feel. Fuzzy tufts of pennisetum cluster around the pool, easing the transition between the structural elements of the layout and the new vegetation.

Grant describes the planting scheme as ‘somewhat of a cottage theme’. Lavender and rosemary bushes skirt the front of the house, while wavy casuarina grasses add levels of drama and depth. Delicate rice flowers (ozothamnus), purple brachycome, vibrant red kangaroo paws and yellow everlastings create a vibrant textural feast, while eucalyptus and banksia trees were planted along the boundaries for privacy from neighbouring blocks.

This new garden acts like a solder between the transposed residence and its fresh terrain. The soft and functional features of the new garden give this old cattle grazing patch a new lease on life!

‘The Plot’ at Binna Burra is available to rent, see more here. See more projects from Fig Landscapes 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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net