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 Sculptural Cliffside Garden With Waterfront Views In Palm Beach

Gardens

Perched on a cliffside in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the undulating garden of this coastal home creates two equally incredible outlooks from different vantage points.

On one side, the vibrant landscaping by Pepo Botanic Design helps enhance the property’s amazing waterfront views, with a pool and a yoga deck built into the site. But from the bottom of the hill, you can look back and enjoy the sculptural garden, which perfectly frames the architectural abode.

9th December, 2022

Outcrop House is nestled into the hillside in Palm Beach, Sydney. Photo – Nick Bowers

The house was designed by Peter Stutchbury Architecture, with landscaping by Pepo Botanic Design. Photo – Nick Bowers

Clusters of Casuarina Glauca also known as ‘Green Wave’ (Casuarina She-Oaks), have been shaped into sculptural hedges to mimic the rocky landforms. Photo – Nick Bowers

There’s also a pool encased in concrete overlooking the water! Photo – Nick Bowers

A winding garden path breaks up the grassy coverings and shrubs that envelop the hillside. Photo – Nick Bowers

Whimsical sculptures are also embedded into the site. Photo – Nick Bowers

Photo – Nick Bowers

And the view of the abundant landscaping from below is just as good as the ocean outlook above! Photo – Nick Bowers

Photo – Nick Bowers

Christina Karras
Friday 9th December 2022

Pepo Botanic Design director Nicola Cameron looked to a garden on the other side of the Pacific Ocean for inspiration when starting work on this serene coastal garden at Outcrop House, in Palm Beach.

‘We were very inspired by the work of Chilean landscape designer Juan Grimm,’ Nicola says. ‘We saw him speak at a conference in Melbourne and his own garden at Los Vilos in Chile was a key reference when approaching this design.’

Despite being more than 11,000km away from each other, the two projects shared a number of similarities – namely being their cliffside location. But Outcrop House’s rocky and steep position came with its own set of complications, including being completely exposed to the harsh coastal elements, and persistent weeds hidden among the existing planting, which had to be continually removed.

‘Our goal was to create a garden that would act as habitat for native birds and wildlife,’ she says. ‘This meant incorporating more ground cover and lower-lying plants, which prevents larger predatory birds preying on smaller creatures below. Aesthetically, this was also ideal as our clients requested that any planting enhance the view rather than obstructing it.’

They chose native varieties that are environmentally sensitive to help to stabilise the hillside and prevent erosion. Doryanthes excelsa (Gymea Lily), Rhagodia spinescens (Spiny Saltbush) and clusters of Casuarina glauca or ‘Green Wave’ (Casuarina She-Oaks) have been cleverly shaped into balls to mimic the rocky landforms and undulating landscape.

‘As the plants have grown, we’ve shaped and formed them for aesthetic, framing the stunning ocean views with a balancing combination of texture and foliage – everything is connected,’ Nicola explains.

Their careful design and ongoing maintenance has turned the rocky outcrop overlooking Whale Beach into a total sanctuary, with a pool, garden sculptures and vertical steel rods beside pathways leading down to a yoga deck.

‘The ocean views are spectacular but I love to stand at the bottom of the garden and look back up the hill towards the house,’ Nicola adds. ‘From this vantage point you can take in the sculpted balls of bright green, which contrast so beautifully with the dark grey, less structured forms of the Westringia, providing a perfect counterpoint to the bold, modern lines and soaring architecture of the house.’

This Week

Homes

A Quirky Redfern Terrace With A Hidden Green Roof

The unconventional family home of designer Sacha Coles, split over 4 levels!

Architecture

An Unconventional Beach House Elevated On Steel

Steel beams elevate AB House by Office MI—JI to form an unconventional beach house in Barwon Heads.

Gardens

A Boundless Garden Immersed In Native Bushland

A new coastal home on the Mornington Peninsula buried deep within a native grassy woodland, with stunning gardens by Plume Studio.

Sustainable Homes

An Off-Grid, Modern Country Farmhouse In Regional Victoria

Step inside a newly built farmhouse that's fully off the grid, with all the classic features of an old country home.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Lush Secret Garden, Inside A Converted Melbourne Church!

This surprising garden in East Melbourne has its own lagoon pool, a natural fish pond and 10m-tall walls covered in ivy.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Brazilian-Inspired Update Of A 1920s Brisbane Cottage

Bowen by Shaun Lockyer Architects elevates a 1920s cottage with a stunning renovation and addition.

Homes

An Owner-Designed Renovation Of A 1970s South Yarra Apartment

How designers Lola Digby-Diercks and Sebastian Owen completely transformed their South Yarra apartment in just six months.

Shopping

Shop The Chunky, Colourful Furniture You’ve Seen All Over The Internet

Meet the tradie brothers behind FEARON, who have been making quirky, must-have furniture that blends fun with functionality!
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Crunchy Crumbed Fish With Cos Salad + Yoghurt Tartare

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's delicious take on a classic summer fish dinner – on high rotation for the rest of the season!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Studio Visit

Local Artist Hannah Maskell Creates Mesmerising Grids Of Colour

The Melbourne-based artist's geometric drawings and wooden sculptures are a cross between 'colour theory and colour therapy'.
Christina Karras

Art

A Look Inside Abbey Rich's Mesmerising New Exhibition

See the Melbourne artist's beautifully bold abstract pieces at MARS Gallery, filled with playful patterns and hidden meanings.
Christina Karras

Art

9 Unmissable Exhibitions To See In 2023!

From NGV's Alexander McQueen exhibition, to a showcase of Frida Kahlo's works, here are the must-see exhibitions of the coming year.
Christina Karras

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About GreenPower (+ Why You Should Make The Switch)

The easiest way to invest in in Australia's renewable future - and it's simpler (and cheaper) than you think!

Creative People

The New Small Business Making Mid-Century-Inspired Furniture In Australia

Culture Cush are making velvet-covered modular lounges inspired by retro designs, with the best materials of today!
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Local Icons + TikTok Stars, Ginger And Carman

Get to know the fashionable, dynamic duo, whose fun-filled adventures (and inspiring approach to life) have made them Internet famous!
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Melbourne Apartment’s Lacklustre Garden Turned ‘Sea Of Green'

Landscape designer Andrew Panton overhauled a 'struggling' ground-floor apartment garden into and evergreen outdoor space.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Thoughtful Garden Championing Nature In The Inner-City

Sam Cox Landscapes brings a sense of the Australian bush to this Fitzroy North home thanks to a clever mix of native plants and established
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

This Week

Gardens

A Lush Secret Garden, Inside A Converted Melbourne Church!

This surprising garden in East Melbourne has its own lagoon pool, a natural fish pond and 10m-tall walls covered in ivy.
Christina Karras

Creative People

The New Small Business Making Mid-Century-Inspired Furniture In Australia

Culture Cush are making velvet-covered modular lounges inspired by retro designs, with the best materials of today!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Owner-Designed Renovation Of A 1970s South Yarra Apartment

How designers Lola Digby-Diercks and Sebastian Owen completely transformed their South Yarra apartment in just six months.

Gardens

A Boundless Garden Immersed In Native Bushland

A new coastal home on the Mornington Peninsula buried deep within a native grassy woodland, with stunning gardens by Plume Studio.

Homes

A Quirky Redfern Terrace With A Hidden Green Roof

The unconventional family home of designer Sacha Coles, split over 4 levels!

Architecture

A Brazilian-Inspired Update Of A 1920s Brisbane Cottage

Bowen by Shaun Lockyer Architects elevates a 1920s cottage with a stunning renovation and addition.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Local Icons + TikTok Stars, Ginger And Carman

Get to know the fashionable, dynamic duo, whose fun-filled adventures (and inspiring approach to life) have made them Internet famous!
Christina Karras

Art

9 Unmissable Exhibitions To See In 2023!

From NGV's Alexander McQueen exhibition, to a showcase of Frida Kahlo's works, here are the must-see exhibitions of the coming year.
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Crunchy Crumbed Fish With Cos Salad + Yoghurt Tartare

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's delicious take on a classic summer fish dinner – on high rotation for the rest of the season!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Studio Visit

Local Artist Hannah Maskell Creates Mesmerising Grids Of Colour

The Melbourne-based artist's geometric drawings and wooden sculptures are a cross between 'colour theory and colour therapy'.
Christina Karras

Sustainable Homes

An Off-Grid, Modern Country Farmhouse In Regional Victoria

Step inside a newly built farmhouse that's fully off the grid, with all the classic features of an old country home.
Christina Karras

Art

A Look Inside Abbey Rich's Mesmerising New Exhibition

See the Melbourne artist's beautifully bold abstract pieces at MARS Gallery, filled with playful patterns and hidden meanings.
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Unconventional Beach House Elevated On Steel

Steel beams elevate AB House by Office MI—JI to form an unconventional beach house in Barwon Heads.

Shopping

Shop The Chunky, Colourful Furniture You’ve Seen All Over The Internet

Meet the tradie brothers behind FEARON, who have been making quirky, must-have furniture that blends fun with functionality!
Christina Karras

Climate

Everything You Need To Know About GreenPower (+ Why You Should Make The Switch)

The easiest way to invest in in Australia's renewable future - and it's simpler (and cheaper) than you think!

Similar Stories

Gardens

A Melbourne Apartment’s Lacklustre Garden Turned ‘Sea Of Green'

Landscape designer Andrew Panton overhauled a 'struggling' ground-floor apartment garden into and evergreen outdoor space.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Thoughtful Garden Championing Nature In The Inner-City

Sam Cox Landscapes brings a sense of the Australian bush to this Fitzroy North home thanks to a clever mix of native plants and established
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

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