Outstanding outdoor spaces from all over the country.


The landscaping in this classic, century-old Queensland home- which was salvaged and relocated to this spectacular setting in Federal, Byron Bay – adopts a simple approach. Plenty of lawn and low plantings highlight the renovated building and are careful not to distract from the stunning outlook seen from the house. The swimming pool and surrounds were lowered in order to maintain views and to work with the lay of the land. The classic layout of the pool complements the period and orientation of the house, and the stone walling between the house and pool helps create a separation, ensuring that when you’re poolside, it feels like part of this great view and the landscape, as opposed to being an extension of the house. Secret Gardens of Sydney (02) 9314 5333, www.secretgardens.com.au.

Photography Tim Turner.


A pool was the first on the clients’ list of requirements for this Melbourne garden, however space was tight and they wanted to retain an existing ash tree. As the ground in the area was not conducive to digging, with large rock floaters and tree roots underground, the decision was made to bring the pool out of the ground.To the rear area of the pool, a fire pit area utilises the deck as a natural seat. The steel and recycled hardwood ash arbours that stretch over the pool lend it a sense of enclosure while offering structural intent and interest. COS Design (03) 9889 3328, cosdesign.com.au.

Photography TimTurner.


This project in Williamstown, Victoria complements the 1970s renovated home with a modern flavour, while ensuring the original art deco integrity was respected. The clients recruited Steve Taylor at COS Design to combine a new pool, landscape and alfresco space. The designer instilled a sense of grandeur through the introduction of the deco curved features in the circular skylight, the 360-degree wet-edge spa and the custom children’s cubby house, which has circular windows. Plant palettes and materials, including glittery glass mosaic tiles on the spa, add a deco glam against white renders and cut bluestone, which tie the landscape with the house. COS Design (03) 9889 3329, www.cosdesign.com.au.


An adventurous client allowed Landart to create a beautifully crafted landscape for this home in Terrey Hills, Sydney. The clients’ unique design vision included a cantilevered boardwalk extending out into the middle of the pool. The plant design required careful consideration, so as to marry with the existing, exotic garden and blend in with the surrounding bushland and native outlook, while not being appetising to the wallabies that come through the property each evening. The resulting combination of native and exotic plants provides a stunning textural contrast and complements the hardwood timber decks and seats, sandstone walls and rocky outcrops. The clients say their new landscape is a beautiful space to contemplate from within the various seating areas or to simply walk through on their way to other areas of the property. Landart Landscapes (02) 9958 0462, www.landart.com.au.


A steep site on the absolute waterfront in Sydney’s well-heeled southern suburb of Sans Souci saw the Rolling Stone Landscapes team get crafty with the rear garden of this private home. Created to maximise views of the water, the design features a covered main pavilion with a fully equipped kitchen including a sink, fridge and woodfired pizza oven. The entertainer’s delight also includes a large dining area, sunken spa and wall-mounted TV, plus a sunken fire pit area nestled underneath a large existing frangipani. The inviting blue pool features a wet edge that spills over into the bay, and curves created by its shape offer an eye-catching aspect from above. The cantilevered section of the entertaining pavilion features timber panelling, while plants emphasise the shapes of the design and add contrasting colours. Rolling Stone Landscapes (02) 9651 5002, www.rollingstonelandscapes.com.

Photography Nic Granleese.


Located in the north-facing backyard of a family home in Melbourne’s Coburg, this small project was a unique opportunity for Nest Architects’ founding architect (and homeowner) to put his philosophy to the test – achieving the Australian Dream while applying affordability and sustainability. Raw and re-used materials allowed a larger portion of the budget to be dedicated to sustainable aspects of the design, such as the green roof. This roof provides insulation and thermal regulation, negating the need for air-conditioning in summer, and dramatically reducing winter gas bills. The thick layer of soil and vegetation reduces urban heat radiation, encourages diversity in flora and fauna, and collects grey water. The 80sqm, four-room dwelling demonstrates that design, sustainability and affordability can work together to create a beautiful home. Nest Architects (03) 9329 2390, www.nestarchitects.com.au.


An updated swimming pool and a tropical garden design exude a modern, resort-inspired feel in this waterfront abode. Plenty of colour, texture and variety are the hallmarks of a tropical style, with green, lush mass plantings of foliage of differing heights and types. The existing sandstone path was also retained, and meanders its way through the garden past focal points at strategic locations, showcasing garden art, such as statues, water features and pot plants. The pool renovation saw new coping and the pool surrounds paved in limestone to offer character to the area, while waterline tiles enhance the blue of the pool water. An upper-level terrace overlooks the pool and gardens around it, and adds to the sense of relaxation for the clients, who briefed Space Landscape Design for a place to spend lazy weekends. Space Landscape Designs (02) 9905 7870, www.spacedesigns.com.au.


Restoring an old-school beach house into a luxury designer retreat saw the team at Nature’s Vision instill a bold landscape design inspired by unique Australian coastal flora. The design includes an outdoor shower, footbath, wide-open lawn, an open-air treehouse, and a play area, which is completely fenced off from the cliff at the property’s edge to offer a secure area for the owner’s kids. Gabion walls, off-form concrete stairs, a stone entry feature wall, Corten garden blades, and soft landscaping combine in this coastal garden, while the oceanside casuarinas are kept and pruned, the better to frame and provide context to the beautiful view of the sea. Nature’s Vision (02) 4382 4111, www.naturesvision.com.au.


Good Manors designed and constructed this garden in Turramurra, Sydney, around a stunning pre-existing feature jacaranda, which adds flair with its vivid purple flora. The team set about redesigning the garden with an aim to refresh an outdated and leaking pool and open up the garden into unfolding green spaces. The new design, replete with large-format paving, glass balustrades and a French antique steel door feature, connects the lush garden with the renovated (now mineral) pool. Various statues, urns and birdbaths are in keeping with the traditional vernacular, as are the hedges and screen plantings used to create a backdrop for the design. These elements reflect the similarly traditional-style home, while tiered lawns and paving precincts create various opportunities for the owners to slow down, relax and appreciate the surrounds. Good Manors (02) 9818 3377, www.goodmanors.com.au.


St Ambrose Farm is set against the blue background of Mount Macedon and offers a formal country garden experience. The original building was an old schoolhouse, which was renovated and brought back to life as a weekender with a resplendent garden. Plenty of sweeping vistas and many green rooms include features such as a perennial garden, a swimming pool, pavilion, herb garden, pond garden and a boundary driveway planted with the upright pyrus ‘Bradford’. A restrained palette of plants is in place, with the many garden rooms hedged with common privet (Ligustrum vulgare). Paul Bangay (03) 9427 9545, www.paulbangay.com.


Set into the top of a steep embankment in the heart of Hawthorn, inner Melbourne, this pool gives what is already a stunning view a reflective surface that expands the horizon for maximum visual stimulation. The clients briefed for an outdoor dining opportunity, sun lounge, a built-in barbecue facility, and access between the upper and lower levels of the house. The swimming pool with Bisazza glass mosaic pool tiles boasts an infinity edge, which allows the pool water to appear as though it is spilling over the edge of the cliff face. It mirrors the stunning Yarra River parklands and horizon in the distance, while the angular shape of the pool mimics the house, ensuring there is a perfect blend from inside the home to out. The space allows the opportunity to cool off
in the pool, lounge in the sun and entertain over dinner in what must be one of Melbourne’s most stunning locations to experience the sunset. Out From The Blue (03) 9855 1950, www.oftb.com.au.


With a remnant bushland backdrop, this garden in Wattle Glen, Victoria, marries traditional natives, indigenous plants and considered design to create
a sense of place. Sam Cox Landscape designed and built this garden over 15 years, preserving the red box and yellow gums while instilling basalt boulder outcrops, naturalistic rock placement, balance and contrast between plantings, pathways, ponds and low planted areas. It features a woodfired pizza oven and a circular walled herb garden that uses salvaged stone and Castlemaine slate paving, an appealing natural material that pulls the property’s mud brick house and garden together. A central fish pond and waterfall are also crucial to the integrated design of home and garden. Structured plantings include a canopy of angophora, eucalyptus, corymbia and casaurina, and an understory populated with grevillea, callistemon and correa, with locals such as Goodenia ovate and Acacia pycnatha toward the boundaries. Sam Cox Landscape 0414 782 264?, www.samcoxlandscape.com.


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