Inviting Modern Gardens: Rock Out!

A rocky, sloping site has been transformed into an inviting outdoor sanctuary.

While surrounded by natural bushland, this property is located mere kilometres from the local shopping area and only 30 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD. The main garden space is elevated above this beautiful natural setting and captures picturesque views.

The property comprises a 10-year-old single-storey residence of modern design and a freeform swimming pool. The rear garden is dominated by rocky (sandstone) outcrops and three metres below the main house garden level, the natural bush begins, providing screening from neighbouring properties.

The landscape design revolved around complex site constraints that included solid, five-metre-high rocky outcrops, rock that covered most of the ground and made excavation difficult, the environmentally sensitive bushland to the rear of the property, and the need for council approval. “The client brief included a covered outdoor area to provide some shade and seating, a kids’ slide into the pool, a water feature incorporating the existing large rocks, garden beds to soften the harsh rocky areas, a turf area for the trampoline, and some extra seating within the garden,” explains designer Martyne Bird of Birds Landscape Design & Management.

“It was important to integrate our design into the existing landscape,” she continues. “We wanted to make a feature of the huge rock outcrops and preserve the tranquil atmosphere of the natural bush while giving the client additional outdoor living areas.”

A creek bed theme was adapted to incorporate the large rocks and the bush setting at the rear. Raised garden beds were then integrated into the design to soften the hard surfaces of the existing rock. Three ponds were placed strategically, connecting the large boulder rock at one end of the garden to the dry creek bed at the other.

Emphasising the natural look of the landscape, two feature sandstone walls were constructed from sawn stone, contrasting the rock-faced stone used everywhere else. A feature urn perches on top of one of the sawn sandstone walls and acts as a focal point from all angles of the garden.

“An oiled timber deck and seating give the pond area warmth, creating a cosy quiet area to relax and have a drink. The movement and sound of the water, along with the soft plantings, enhance and balance this once over-scaled rocky area, which is now imbued with a peaceful atmosphere,” says Martyne.

Of course, good design is only half of the success equation — you need a skilled landscape contractor to give form to the designer’s vision. The planting and landscape construction for this complex project were carried out by Innovative Landscapes, giving the clients their long-dreamed-of new garden.

Project details

Landscape design by Birds Landscape Design & Management
249 Annangrove Road, Annangrove NSW 2156
Mobile 0419 992 634

Landscape construction by Innovative Landscapes
11 Paperbark Crescent, Beaumont Hills, NSW 2155
Mobile 0410 414 473
Photography by Peter Brennan

Article published with the permission of Universal Magazines Complete Home

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