Garden Design & Landscaping Coogee
CREATING A WARM SPACE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
This is a front garden that makes a spectacular first impression. Not only is it the owner’s main outdoor living area, it has a wonderfully “beachy” feel that is perfectly at home given the property’s location in the Sydney beachside suburb of Coogee.
The goal was to create a usable outdoor space, something that would function as an extension of the house, could be enjoyed by the whole family and was easy to maintain
explains designer Nathan Lawler from The Labyrinth Garden.
But the design savvy owner also wanted the space to have instant impact and he wanted to have input into the final design. “I worked very closely with my client, Ian Wingrove,” says Nathan. “Ian also comes from a design background, so it was very important to him that the design not only looked great but was very usable. His input into the design was valuable.” To give the garden immediate impact and project a very welcoming feel, Nathan introduced different surfaces, levels and textures. “The concept was inspired by coastal boardwalks and old beach houses — hence the use of recycled timber for the decking — yet we wanted a level of formality,” says Nathan. “This was achieved by the use of the sandstone planter boxes and marble pavers. “When Ian was on holidays in Noosa he came across an interesting, well-detailed fence and he wanted to use a similar design in his garden,” continues Nathan. “To replicate this we built the fence using common house bricks that we clad with white sandstone flagging. We then used Australian blackbutt timber in selected sizes to create the feature section of horizontal slats.” Nathan is particularly proud of the detail in the timber fencing and stone work as well as the deck built using milled-down old hardwood railway sleepers and the large day bed that wraps around the existing mature jacaranda. Australian blackbutt was used to create the day bed, which cleverly includes a trap door that leads to a storage space where Ian can keep his surfboards.
THE FINAL DESIGN
When designing the garden, a major consideration was the lack of sunlight, which caused the existing lawn to die off and the large fig and jacaranda to constantly shed leaves. This led to the decision to remove the lawn and install hard surfaces instead — a mix of imported marble pavers and timber decking. The low-light conditions also informed the choice of new plants, which include cordylines, agaves and star jasmine.
The use of timber furniture adds to the warmth of the space and, to add character and an element of fun, climbing ropes hang from the jacaranda and a little seating platform has been erected in the fork of the trunk.