This Fitzroy North project won “Landscape of the Year 2018′. Judges described the project as, “a unique garden with loads of personality, engaging you with it’s beautiful balance of materials and finishes, proving that even the smallest of spaces can have a huge impact.
Hard structures in the Landscape Construction
When the client, a predominant Melbourne graphic Designer, came to me and said, “I want you to produce a wow statement in my 7×5 (35 sq.m) courtyard”, I was nervous….. Natures Best Landscapes predominately engage in large scale projects with expansive works and generous timelines. 2-3 million dollar contracts are not uncommon such as our recent Toorak and Yering jobs. To say this was out of my comfort zone was an understatement!
The owner described his vision as wanting to use a variety of different and contrasting materials without it looking like we bought unwanted bits and pieces off EBAY.
The project; a stunning single fronted Victorian terrace hosting a rear contemporary extension situated in the hip, inner city suburb of Fitzroy. The rear extension that joins the small courtyard features raw and recycled materials throughout. My plan was to blend the design with not only the culture of neighbourhood but the personality of the owner. The result being a unified flow from inside to out maximising space to create a warm entertaining area within the challenge of tight site.
Materials were meticulously chosen to ensure maximum impact was achieved, whist immediately drawing the eye’s attention. Travertine and intricate herringbone paving was laid on the upper terrace, a large recycled timber step features the full length of the house and mimics the overhead pergola made of recycled ironbark timbers. Different levels allow an easy transition to incorporate the contrasting materials such as red and painted black brick plus stone cladding. A key feature that transports one to where you’d rather be, is the beautiful alpine fence cladding which parallels the used reclaimed timbers on the opposing side.
Stepping from detailed Herringbone to the unrefined sleepers softened by lush groundcover certainly mimics the alternative culture of the Fitzroy area.
The planting palette again was a mixture of various species and we had to cater for the lack of sun and shadowing into this small space from surroundings. The key feature tree, a spectacular weeping Japanese maple is the centre piece of the yard, which looks remarkable lit up at night when entering the property. Other key trees were positioned to block out overlooking windows from neighbours. Boston ivy covers walls, softening the house exterior, along with hanging baskets and ferns helping you forget that you are immersed in city living.
Garden lighting highlights this magnificent small space and its array of materials used that somehow work so well together.