Articles - Landscaping & Gardening

Creating truly unique outdoor spaces

12th June 2017

Located in Subiaco, the new home designed by architect, Ross McAndrew, has four distinct courtyard spaces that transition from the street front to the rear of the property. Each courtyard has a strong connection to the indoor layout of the house, and functionally helps create an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.

“Whilst the client on this project was prepared to output money to achieve a ‘day one’ impact in the garden, people with smaller budgets can achieve similar outcomes with good planning, smart design, and a little bit of patience.” - Joel Barker, Director, Seedesign Studio.

 The front yard relies on blending with the traditional ‘Subiaco styled’ garden: essentially a cottage planting palette with seasonal colour. The insertion of striking mature trees such as the Dragon Tree and mango tree ensured a point of difference and presented the opportunity to modify the planting palette to include more architectural species, such as Blue Festue grass, Birds of Paradise, and Mother-in-Law's Tongue. A generous lawn area anchors the front yard, and the meandering footpath to the front door makes for a pleasant interaction with the garden. The mature plantings ensure a level of privacy is established from the street, and provide 'day one' impact aesthetically.

“It was critical throughout the design process to ensure each courtyard space had its own identity and function. If we truly want to create outdoor spaces that invite people into them, we have to analyse what it is that we are trying to achieve and what each space can offer. Garden design is not a repeat cut and paste approach. We need to be specific and individual.” - Joel Barker, Director, Seedesign Studio.

An alfresco area nestled behind the timber and steel arbor and high boundary walls was the perfect chance to insert tightly packed Silver Birch trees to create a cool environment, yet offer dappled light and seasonal change.

An edible garden and timber arbor structure are the features of the rear courtyard, as well as the pleached Pyrus trees to create a strong lineal but permeable divide between the bedrooms of the house and garden. A larger alfresco area, complete with an outdoor bbq and table tennis, provides the main outdoor gathering space which is centralised to the bedrooms and internal kitchen area. Gravel footpaths in strong lineal lines abound the raised timber planters to soften the access throughout the garden.

The use of sculptural mature olive trees creates a striking outlook from the house to a passive courtyard predominantly used for viewing from within the house. Located on a key axis within the building, the reflection pond draws in the sky and emphasises the lineal form of the pond from within the house to the external spaces. Drystone feature walls bookend the view.

This garden has been featured in The Weekend Australian Magazine and The West, as well as being awarded the Best Verge Garden by the Town of Subiaco in 2016.