Landscape Garden DESIGN PROJECT
It’s such a personal choice trying to decide when is the best time in life to downsize your property. For many couples, it’s after the kids have moved out, but for others, they’d prefer to hang on a bit longer until after grandchildren have arrived so as to keep the extra space for babysitting and fun sleepovers. There is no right or wrong time, it’s a gradual process and it’s not always an easy decision to make. It’s important to work out priorities and what your objectives are.
Our clients had moved from a 2,000 sq meter block on a steep natural bush, landscaped site. The garden was heavily laden with substantial trees and required a lot of time-consuming and rigorous maintenance. This couple enjoyed travelling and the care of the garden and pool became too physically demanding and ate up any of their precious hours for leisure. They decided to downsize to increase their quality of lifestyle, giving themselves the gift of time to travel and simply enjoy life.
However, living with a garden was also part of the quality of lifestyle for this couple, so they didn’t want a home without a garden at all. Fortunately, their new property in Sydney’s inner west, gives them the best of both worlds. We designed them a rooftop garden where they have the enjoyment of a garden, the therapeutic satisfaction of caring and nurturing plants, yet without the stress of high maintenance.
The garden was already divided into defined spaces. It was our role to determine the specific uses of these areas and create a relaxed, lived-in feeling. We pulled up the large expanse of lawn as this wasn’t the most interesting, practical or environmentally friendly application for a rooftop. Not very easy access for a lawnmower either! Modern, comfortable furniture, and a variety of contemporary pots and screens were selected to create warmth and interest, as if they had been collected over time. It was important to steer clear of the sparse aesthetics that many of Sydney’s new developments seem to have. Rooftops can be harsh, hot environments and we always strive to create a lush oasis with plenty of green-life to make the space attractive and inviting – a cool, relaxing retreat. A huge, oversized, bubbling water bowl evokes a feeling of freshness and tranquillity and creates a strong anchor for the space. Not only pleasing to the eye, the sound of gurgling water is instantly soothing. An informal path was constructed from recycled railway sleepers with a sensory planting of Thyme in-between which releases a beautiful scent when you brush past.
The garden is North-facing and extremely exposed to the sunshine all day long along with drying wind. It was imperative that we selected water-wise plants and installed a full-proof irrigation system to ensure the garden would thrive.
The installation of a resort-style lighting scheme ensures there are strong vistas of the rooftop’s defined spaces and allows the garden to really come alive at night.