Good design underpins this robust garden and the enviable lifestyle it affords
This Melbourne home, located in a heritage streetscape, boasts a stunning, one-of-a-kind rear garden. It is not just a contemporary outdoor living zone, it is a functional, robust space designed to accommodate the daily activities of an active family and their large dog. Paramount to the success of this garden was the high level of design work that was undertaken by the design office at Gardenridge before “the soil was turned”.
An overall concept diagram resolved the layout of the site; detailed working drawings communicated the job to the tradesmen working on the project, allowing accurate quoting and exceptional finishes; and 3D modelling brought the garden to life and helped to explain complex elements of the design to the client. The rear garden plays host to an array of features designed for family outdoor entertaining: a swimming pool, elevated pavilion complete with fireplace, conservatory and outdoor cooking area with woodfired pizza oven and barbecue. There’s also a water feature attached to the side of the glass conservatory that provides a peaceful ambience and drowns out the sounds of neighbourhood activity.
The pool itself doubles as a water feature, shown here with colourful flamingos which gently bob up and down on the water’s surface when the pool is not in use. The dark, reflective surface of the water is inviting in the warmest of months and provides a serene, pond-like view when the cold weather sets in. Charcoal granite paving and spotted gum timber provide the perfect backdrop to the delightfully vibrant colours introduced through accessories such as the bright red pots and the life-saver chair. A mass of lanterns in rainbow colours hang across the garden, introducing a fun vibe into the landscape The theme adopted by the Gardenridge design team was for an “inside-out” garden. The glass conservatory successfully brings the outside in and the pavilion behind the pool takes things that are normally inside to the outdoor environment, such as a fireplace with a rug in front, a large mirror, a twiggy-style chandelier and a comfy lounge seating area. A tough plant palette was adopted, featuring black bamboo, phormium, periwinkle and black mondo grass, all with contrasting colours and textures. The low-maintenance nature of these plants means the owners can spend more time enjoying the space than tending to it.
Lawn has been kept to a minimum so there’s not a lot of time spent mowing and watering this aspect of the garden. Sustainability was encouraged where possible. All rainwater that falls in the rear garden is harvested in a tank under the trampoline and reused to water the drought-hardy plants and buffalo lawn. Energysaving LED lights are an eco-conscious choice that means the landscape can be used long into the night, with the lighting illuminating paths and highlighting points of interest. The boundary fences have been painted in Colorbond Woodlands Grey, which makes the fence “disappear” behind the black bamboo foliage, presenting the illusion of greater space. While this garden is in the midst of suburbia, you wouldn’t think it when relaxing there — whether reading a book by the fire, drinking a cocktail by the pool or in the spa, or whipping up a culinary masterpiece in the woodfired oven
Landscape design and construction by Gardenridge P/L
Phone (03) 9830 6400
Lights supplied by Gardens at Night Phone (03) 9824 4937, (02) 9439 9155
Timber supplied by O’Sheas Timber & Hardware
Phone (03) 9786 3422
Photography by Patrick Redmond