Our very successful show garden for the 2012 Garden Design Fest.
When asked by the client to come out and design a garden and pool area in the Brunswick area, I jumped at the chance knowing that it was a bit left of field from the areas that most of our work takes us. The inner suburbs of Melbourne conjured up great design opportunities for me even before I met the client or saw the site.
The initial brief was a great experience as the client had just finished a ‘cool and funky’ renovation to their house creating a second level for their family to use while the children enter their teenage years. The client requested the implementation of a family pool, car space and entertaining area is included in the plan. All this while leaving and not disturbing the existing mature tree that covers 50% of the garden space was to be achieved. As is with most clients, a low maintenance garden was also essential enabling time to be spent with family and friends rather than hard work maintaining plants etc. A challenging task was ahead!
As the site backs on to and is surrounded by various factories and warehouses, the feeling that I left with was that of ‘Industrial’. The clients are also quite environmentally conscious and loved the idea of natural rather than man made products. Another requirement was the introduction of a small vegetable patch/herb garden whilst also leaving an assortment of Citrus that they had nurtured over the past few years.
The placement of the pool was an integral point in the design. It was to be built on the Eastern boundary with a property-dividing wall built on the pool shell. The finish of the wall was to blend in with the feel of the surrounds of the property therefore a Stretcher bond pattern in blue stone was chosen. This runs down to the floor of the pool. The pool coping reflects this with a thick blue stone paver boldly distinguishing the edge.
To keep with the natural product feel, the pool is surrounded by wide Spotted Gum timbers forming a decking area where the family can sit around the pool flanked by Australian native grasses and shaded by the canopy of the overhanging existing tree.
The real feature to the garden and the most talked about component is the use of vertical steel posts and panels of sheet metal all creating a ‘wave’ which fences off the pool for safety requirements. Again, the industrial area that is surrounds the house and the natural feel of the home led us to the creation of this unusual take on pool safety. The client was very trusting and open minded for this creation to be carried out! The surrounded planting softens the fence; however the aim was to use the fence as a feature to the garden.
The garden also includes an area for the clients to enjoy entertaining and family meals, once again beneath the canopy of the beautiful tree that was an integral component of the design. The paving to this area is bluestone to match that of the boundary/pool wall. The area is a I crazy paving’ format, again to create a sense of nature and relaxation.
The car space was intended for minimal use only, however it was quite essential considering the parking restrictions related to inner city living. This was achieved by using Exposed Aggregate Concrete in the same toning as the bluestone. To create greater interest to this area, a combination of 3 varying coloured river pebbles were spread throughout the area once the concrete was poured. The end result speaks for itself… Outstanding!