Garden Design - How to find inspiration

For inspiration in garden design, you can benefit from noticing the detail in the architecture of the houses and the structures in the gardens. Taking your cue from what you find in the older more established buildings and gardens, means that you will create a garden that has a 'sense of place'.

But it's not all about liking something and reproducing it directly into your garden, especially if your garden has a more contemporary edge like the garden at Kogarah Bay. You need to take those elements that appeal to you and reinterpret them. Merely copying these icons means that you lose the interest that they possess, and turns them into objects of ridicule. It's your clever reinterpretation of them that makes them a focal design element and point of interest in your garden.

In the Sydney suburb of Kogarah Bay the houses are largely post war style architecture and the obvious element on their exteriors are the flourishes on the metal balustrades. They appear in a variety of designs, and can take the simpler form of diamonds, and rectangles, or the more ornate and decorative form of spirals and swirls.

The style that Brendan relates to the most is the spiral motif. The way that it appears in its original form is merely the starting point of a lengthy process by which you arrive at the final, and barely recognizable, design. Brendan takes the symbol and then plays with it, making a succession of drawings and adjusting and tweaking until he is finally satisfied with the design. Even though the icon form is being manipulated and drastically changed, there is certainly an element of respect to the point of paying homage to it.

The process of getting the screens made is often where all our good ideas become pear shaped, or can sometimes come to a grinding halt. Once you have your design and a good sketch of it, you need to find someone who can make it for you. A good place to start is to ask family and friends as a personal recommendation can make your life a lot easier. Failing that, search the yellow pages for five to six medium sized, locally based companies. We found that the medium sized companies are generally big enough to have all the experience and equipment to do the job, but not too big to turn you away. Give them a call and gauge their enthusiasm to your project. Be prepared for the odd rejection even before you've managed to describe what your design entails. Some companies will simply announce that they are just too busy to even look at it. Once you've narrowed it down to only the interested parties, you will probably need to fax them through your design, with dimensions, and discuss further. If more than one company shows interest and accepts to do the job, ask them for a quote and decide from there.

We found Ken from Hy-way Sunvisors & Sheetmetal not only had the equipment to make the screen, but had the vision required to execute it. As Brendan wants the design to precise, he has eliminated any room for error by drawing the design to a 1:1 scale.

Whilst the spiral was made, Glen from Bongrow Building worked on the timber frame which Brendan also designed and provided a 1:1 scale drawing of. Once Glen had received the spiral motif, notches were cut into the timber frame to house the spiral.

As a result, the screens lift the bulkiness and heaviness of the other structural elements in the garden and add a touch of frivolity and flamboyance, as well as provide a very solid link to the area.


Hy-way Sunvisors & Sheetmetal
30-32 Adderley Street East
Lidcombe 2141
Tel: 9748 0660
Fax: 9648 4503

Bongrow Building
Glen Pickard
M: 0414 292 041

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