How To Cre­ate...

A happy mix of gar­den, swim­ming and en­ter­tain­ing areas in one back­yard.

Australian House & Garden - - CONTENTS - STORY Elizabeth Wil­son | PHO­TOG­RA­PHY Natalie Hun­fal­vay NI­COLA CAMERON Di­rec­tor, Pepo Botanic De­sign

The brief

When Is­abella and Matthew re­turned to Aus­tralia from the UK with their two young chil­dren, they set their sights on find­ing a home with am­ple out­door space “so we could spend more time in the sun­shine”, says Is­abella. They found their an­swer: a Fed­er­a­tion house with a 12x22m back­yard and pool in Syd­ney’s in­ner west. But a few things needed tweak­ing: there was boggy lawn around the pool and the back pa­tio was more a thor­ough­fare than a sit­ting area. As keen but time-poor gar­den­ers, the cou­ple were seek­ing a low-main­te­nance gar­den with a vegie patch so they could teach their chil­dren about grow­ing food.

The so­lu­tion

To re­di­rect foot traf­fic, Ni­cola re­lo­cated the pool gate and in­stalled a cen­tral set of lime­stone steps, re­in­forc­ing the sta­tus of the per­gola as a sit­ting area. By us­ing a mix of Aus­tralian na­tives and ex­otics in sim­ple, re­peat plant­ings, she has en­sured the gar­den is both struc­tured and low main­te­nance. The boggy lawn around the pool has been re­placed with pavers and beds of hardy plants, and a gen­er­ous, raised vegetable gar­den has pride of place in a sunny rear pocket.

De­signer state­ment

“I love that this gar­den flows in such a func­tional and vis­ual way. It’s a happy fam­ily gar­den.”

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