Since 2008, Ascher Smith and business partner Adam Kitchen have worked together to deliver design and landscaping for residential and commercial projects.
They work closely with every client from start to finish, paying particular attention to fine details. With 12 years of experience, Ascher uses sketches and watercolour for each client design and offers realistic 3D computer-generated images to create a visual representation before it’s constructed.
This simple yet striking backyard makeover proves well thought-out design is essential for success.
The clients wanted a large spa with decking in a relatively small space. They also requested no garden beds, as they led extremely busy lives.
Ascher created a design that positioned the spa towards the corner of the yard, surrounded by split-level decking, which helped meld the spa into the area without dominating the space.
As the main alfresco was used for entertaining, Ascher was wary of making the overall space appear cramped. To exploit the space and maintain the flow from inside out, large silver travertine pavers were installed under the patio. The pavers were imported from Turkey and open up the entertaining area, while keeping it cool in summer.
Although the clients were reluctant to have garden beds in the design, Ascher persuaded them to include Bambusa oldhamii, an all-round bamboo that requires minimal maintenance. The greenery from this plant also softens the backdrop of timber screening.
On the other side of the alfresco, southwest river stones were laid with more bamboo to relax the mood and provide textural contrast against the timber and travertine. The area was completed with subtle lighting, highlighting the dramatic and contrasting forms of the materials and angles used in the area.
The completed garden offers the perfect balance of proportion, scale and form, while fulfilling the required functions and completing the clients’ home.
Recreating her own courtyard with partner Dylan Lindsay, Ascher Smith’s vision was a Mediterranean, lush, informal garden. It was important for the landscape to include as many deciduous trees as possible to keep the house cooler in the summer months.
Lots of vegetable space was another key requirement, which was implemented through the entire front courtyard garden that is bathed in sunlight all year round.
A distinct Tuscan ambience has been achieved with two large limestone archways, one of which incorporates a wrought iron gate serving as a grand welcoming statement to the property.
The entrance wall is adorned by a trompe l’oeil that presents the optical illusion of looking through a window to rolling Tuscan hills and vineyards.
Inside the courtyard, the Mediterranean theme continues with burnt orange walls providing a backdrop for the luscious green foliage. The use of French Pattern travertine has created a seamless connection with the interior dining room, with a large rosewood and glass sliding door that appears to frame the courtyard.
A timber pergola covered in grapevine mirrors the wooden doorframe while painting a truly Mediterranean picture.
Plantings throughout the area are ongoing with new varieties planted as the space evolves.
A long concrete planter along the length of the space is filled with frangipanis, ground covers and small trees that offer a canopy of privacy from the two-storey building next door. Living walls play an integral part of this design – succulents and delicate varieties are framed on a ‘liquid iron and instant rust’ painted wall, creating a visually appealing backdrop.
With clever up-lighting throughout the area, Ascher and Dylan can admire their garden from every room in the house, even at night.