Inside Out (Australia)
We break down the clever design of a Sydney garden that ticks all the boxes for family time
Plenty of fun for their kids was high on the agenda for a couple when it came to the redesign of their garden on Sydney’s northern beaches. “They wanted something that looked beautiful but that also had everything set up for the children,” says landscape designer Matt Leacy of Landart Landscapes who designed and built the new garden and pool out the back, and reconfigured the front garden to incorporate a green roof over the existing garage. “We focused on maximising the potential of the property,” he says. “We created an entertaining area and a new swimming pool, with a strong visual connection between them, plus a paved area and a generous lawn with a cubby house and trampoline. I think we’ve ticked all the boxes; it’s an interesting and inviting garden with something for everybody.”
“It’s an interesting and inviting garden with something for everybody” MATT LEACY, LANDSCAPE DESIGNER
THE FRONT GARDEN was reconfigured to allow for more privacy from the street, while retaining a spacious feel. Pleached
Pyrus nivalis ‘Snow Pear’ trees provide structures without bulk, and they are underplanted with variegated star jasmine for a looser element. Limestone steppers are interspersed with mondo grass to soften the hard surface.
THE RAISED PLANTER BED sits over the garage, so it provided its own challenges. “We only had around 300mm of soil depth, so we chose plants that could deal with it yet still grow to a reasonable height,” says Matt. “We went for a lot of textural planting including agave ( Agave attenuata), naturally mounding plants such as Carissa ‘Desert Star’ and jade plant ( Crassula ovata ‘Blue Bird’), along with silver foliage from the Kalanchoe ‘ Silver Spoons’. As this garden is visible from the master bedroom, we wanted it to look attractive from above as well. It’s hard to stop a shallow garden from drying out, so we included a watering system.”
THE POOL is elevated slightly so that it can be seen from the house and to lessen the excavation needed. A low buxus hedge inside the glass fence sits at the level of the water. “Our intent was to remove all signs of traditional pool coping, to make it look a little more intriguing than the standard pool,” says Matt. Spotted gum decking overhangs the white-tiled pool at both ends, with grey limestone stepping pads forming a water feature on the far side.