Inspirational Gardens

If you want to make a start designing your own garden, you need inspiration. It's just a matter of knowing where to look – sometimes it can be as close as the end of your street.

At Milsons Point in Sydney, Brendan looks at a garden that cleverly uses material already on-site, such as sandstone walls. The garden is a great example of indoor-outdoor living, with glass doors that fold right back to open up the kitchen to the garden. The stunning water feature also makes a bold statement and the bamboo continues the theme of simplicity and elegance.

With a country upbringing, Brendan's heart is with the garden of his family home outside Armidale, northern NSW. Now about three times its original size, this country garden works because it has a real sense of space. European plants do well in Armidale's cold climate but they can look out of place in the Australian landscape. So to bridge the gap Brendan planted lavender rose, and it works perfectly, with its purple and greys sympathetic to the changing colours of outlying paddocks.

Things to consider

  • Don't feel that if you have a small space you need to fill it with small things. Quite often it is the opposite, use big features in a small space and it gives the illusion of space. Use big elements in a small space to make the small space seem bigger.

  • Sharing a fence of the same material with your neighbour can give an illusion of space. In this case, both had a bamboo fence.
  • Don't be afraid to use water. The effect, both sight and sound, is stunning. It might seem like a complicated investment but it will be well worth the effort and dollars.
  • Work with your home. Look at where your garden starts and the house ends and try to create a flow between the two. In this way you add more space to your home and a sense of inviting the outdoors in.

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