After a patio extension was added to the front of their home, the owners of this garden in Carindale, Queensland decided that the existing tired landscape had to be updated to match. This would ensure that their new space had the appropriate surroundings to allow them to fully enjoy it.
I started the design process by getting to know the homeowners and developing an understanding of exactly what they wanted to achieve. I quickly discovered that as well as pleasant surroundings for their new patio area, they wanted additional casual seating, a dedicated entry to the property and screening from passing pedestrian traffic.
After further discussion, it was agreed that a lush colourful planting scheme would be the main feature of the landscape. This would be used to connect various garden areas and envelope the home, without dominating or overwhelming it.
Street appeal was a very important factor when considering the design. The existing rendered fence had a lot of character and helped to give people a good first impression of the property. New visitors to the home, however, entered via the driveway, which was confusing, so this was abandoned and a new, more obvious entry gate was installed to the front fence.
To make the garden more private, the old entry was closed off and the existing fence extended to fill the space. The infill panels were replaced with deep blade aluminium panels which act like louvres. These prevent people from looking in when they walk past yet allow views from within the property.
The entry to the front door was also made much more inviting by introducing wide bluestone steps with LED strip lighting and a generous pathway, flanked by plantings, to guide you there. Additional feature elements, such as a raised bluestone planter with giant bromeliads and a custom-designed water feature ensure the entry space makes a strong impact.
A curved floating bench seat, also with LED underlighting, is strategically positioned near the patio area to invite people to sit in the garden. This is connected to a low retaining wall, the design of which matches the house and front fence and elevates the garden.
A garden with a luxurious look was what the homeowners desired, but they didn't want to waste precious time in maintenance. With this is mind, I chose a tropical theme for the new planting palette. In devising the planting plan, I strove, wherever possible, to retain some of the original plants.
Adding colour, character and a wonderful sense of richness, the new plantings included Heliconia 'Kawauchi', Cordyline 'Negra' and 'Pink Diamond', Philodendron 'Xanadu', Neoregelia 'Sheba', Ixora 'Coral Fire' and Croton 'Mammy'. Completing the picture there is Alcantarea imperialis, Liriope 'Evergreen Giant', Ophiopogon variegatum, Rhoeo 'Sugar Plum Fairy' and Randia fitzelanii.
The automatic irrigation system provides the right amount of water all year round, keeping the plants looking lush, even during the heat of summer. The final touch is the landscape lighting, which comes on automatically each night. This highlights various parts of the garden during the evening before switching itself off at the pre-programmed time. The result is a garden that is just as inviting – and easy to use – at night as it is during the day.
Contact Utopia Landscape Design
Mobile: 0419 665 402
Phone: 07 3890 1400
PO Box 4015, Gumdale, Brisbane QLD 4154