Coolamon House’s spectacular structure was designed around its unique and undulating landscape in the Byron Bay Hinterland.
When the owners engaged DFJ Architects for the build, they knew establishing a thriving garden would be just as integral to their floating, Modernist-style dream home. The couple enlisted Fig Landscapes to restore the 20-acre block’s former farmlands into a native garden that could enhance the architectural beauty of the home itself.
Fig Landscapes creative director Grant Boyle knew he also had to hero home’s incredible outlook of surrounding stretches of green, with the ocean in the distance. ‘For me the site was all about the view! We kept the planting low to maximise this and used lots of grasses to take advantage of the ever-prevailing winds,’ he notes.
Almost two years after the project was completed, the property is engulfed in 2 acres of sprawling gardens. A courtyard oasis is protected from the elements in the heart of the home, while sandstone pathways, steel walls, plantings, lawn and a fire-pit zone make up the additional of the garden spaces.
The property’s steep site also provided plenty of inspiration for its sturdy and textural planting scheme. ‘Ecologically, the site is set in the caldera of an ancient volcano that was active 23 million years ago,’ Grant explains. ‘The site was part of the ‘Big Scrub’ rainforest that was decimated by colonial settlement, and less than 1 per cent of the forest remains.’
As a result, many endemic rainforest species have been planted on the property. The planting list features more than 60 natives including spider flowers (Grevilleas), gymea lilies (Doryanthes excelsa) and kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos), in addition to lush fountain grasses (Pennisetum) and mat rushes (Lomandra).
‘We used native grasses to that would not only stabilise embankments but also sway gently in the wind and shine in the setting sun,’ Grant adds.
It’s been an ongoing labour of love to get the flourishing garden to where it is today, with Grant and his team continuing planting just about every week. The landscape will continue to grow and change in the years to come, merging the striking house into the nature of its incredible hillside location.
See more from Fig Landscapes here.