Story by Ellen Dorset
Photography by Brigid Arnott
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Once aged and outdated, the projects on these pages have been reworked to create practical, contemporary and classic outdoor entertaining areas
As well as providing privacy, recreation and pleasure, the ideal landscape will also evolve to keep pace with changing family needs over time.
This project by the landscape design team at Good Manors came about from a desire to create a landscape that ticked all these boxes. Conceptual designer Raoul Van de Laak says the grounds consisted of a large swimming pool, which left little room for an entertaining area.
"It was a poor use of space. The pool was much too large and there was no proper access to the upper garden. And the owners had teenagers, so providing an entertaining area was important."
To create more space, the team reduced the size of the pool by nearly a third and removed the adjoining spa pool. The area was then converted into a spacious entertaining patio with custom-built daybeds, loungers and portable tables.
A sandstone feature wall provides an architectural element and creates a distinction between the daybed and steps leading to the upper garden. This wall helps to ground the landscape and bring the different elements together.
Privacy was another key consideration in the design of this landscape and was balanced with the owners' request for a relaxed, subtropical aesthetic. To achieve this, Van de Laak focused on perimeter planting. Screening plants created a pleasing backdrop, while feature shrubs were used to provide a textural contrast.
"Our focus was on leaf structure and colour rather than variety. The result is a lush, simple and private garden."
First published date: 26 November 2013
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