Some of us dream our whole lives of having the perfect garden. It’s taken decades and decades for the owner of this Kenthurst property to create hers, but we daresay it’s been worth the wait.
Given the client’s age, creating a space she could enjoy straight away was the priority. ‘She didn’t have years and years to wait for the gardens to establish. We understood we were assisting to create her legacy garden,’ says Trystan Graham, director of Outdoor Establishments.
The inspiration for the project was the client herself – a woman with a passion for gardens, who has lived most of her life in Sydney’s Hills, and enjoys the area’s aesthetic. Outdoor Establishments worked closely with her to develop the layout of the garden, select materials, and curate the planting palette. At the top of her brief – all the flowers!
‘It was essential to ensure she had colour with every change of season…She wanted the garden to embody elements of her life in Australia as well as her Italian/Mediterranean heritage that would eventually be left for her family to enjoy,’ says Matthew Hook, director of Outdoor Establishments.
Given the many influences at play, the completed garden features no overriding style. Classic topiary elements are mixed with flowering natives, deciduous weeping trees are paired with sculptural succulents, and Australian sandstone meets recycled hardwood. Most of these plants were installed over an 11 month period in 2018, including large trees that were crane lifted in.
Throughout the 3160 square metre garden (on a 4000 square metre block), are various shaded and open entertaining zones to accommodate large groups. Each of these spaces are accessible with gentle ramps and plenty of seating opportunities for the owner, her daughter, and their regular extended family guests.
‘The entire landscape (except maintenance access to the onsite stormwater detention) was designed with no stairs, wide openings, and manageable gradients for walker and wheelchair access. Low walls and seating opportunities are located at roughly 20 metre intervals,’ says Trystan.
‘The Hills district is also known for being very hot in summer, so we ensured views from within the home out into the garden were planned, so the client would get the benefits of the garden from inside.’
Tying all these garden spaces together is the consistent application of Scala® Travertine natural stone flooring tiles from Eco Outdoor, which lend a soft, textural quality to the paved areas throughout.
The value placed on residential landscapes has increased during the pandemic, ‘particularly for the elderly who have been completely isolated from the world,’ as Matthew notes. The owner of this property feels fortunate to have access to this private garden that allows space to enjoy on her own; social time with her family; continuing her passion for gardening and cut flowers; growing her own food; safety and security; and engaging with nature.
The scale and depth of what’s been achieved here is truly incredible, and is a credit to Outdoor Establishment’s vision, the owner’s passion, and her daughter who managed the entire project.
‘We feel the project isn’t really ever complete, as we maintain it weekly, and are always tinkering in the garden with the owner,’ says Trystan. A legacy project indeed!