A beautiful home with beautiful, verdant out looks – how to seamlessly connect the two? This adroit landscaping project achieves just that

Landscaping by Mace Landscape Group

The property owners wanted their new garden to relate to the rural setting in as many ways as possible. The key objective was to ensure the owners could feel part of their outdoor environment from their home and rear deck.

Their original garden had a disconnect by having their main outdoor living area – their long, narrow rear deck – elevated above their lawn.

We needed to make the immediate link between home and garden work more effectively by allowing for a much better visual and physical connection.

By achieving this, the home and garden would then naturally link better with its greater surrounds, i.e. from home to outdoor living areas, to lawn, to paddock and from there blending into the rural countryside beyond.

The new outdoor living areas now ‘transition’ towards the lawn and paddock beyond as we step down from the existing rear deck to the split-level outdoor living areas below, then onto the lawn, which sweeps gently towards the paddock and trees below.

There is now a strong connection between the dwelling and its setting through this transition of spaces that takes you on a physical or visual journey through the landscape.

Material selection:

We needed to connect the new finishes with both the existing deck and a possible future pool area within the lower lawn.

As the deck is timber, it was a natural fit that the immediate stepped connection to the existing deck would also be timber. The stepped access leads onto the first platform of a split-level outdoor living space. To break up this space we matched the upper level with the deck.

The future pool area would likely be a concrete or tiled finish, so we wanted to match the lower outdoor living level in a similar fashion.

We felt this method of alternative finishes for the split-level outdoor living area worked in harmony with the finishes of the property while also working on a design perspective by announcing the separate uses of the split-levels – the deck level more for lounging and lower, concrete level as the outdoor dining space.

The timberwork was allowed to naturally silver, so holistically the tones of the concrete and timber blended well together while contrasting wonderfully with the darker tones of the home.

Retaining walls and side cladding also match the colours of the house.

Planting was used to effect, to soften the structural alignment and multiple levels of the new garden renovation.

Planting design

The owners had a good understanding of what they wanted in regards the planting selection. The important aspect from the design perspective was to form a structure into which the desired plant selection could fit.

As the aspect of the site is north-facing, the renovated garden area is exposed to full sun.

Shade umbrellas are to be used to provide shade to the new outdoor living areas. However, the owners were keen to get some natural shade for their existing veranda deck space.

For this we doubled up the function of the planting in the raised planter running along side the deck by allowing for standard specimens to provide shade to the deck (while still maintaining views out from the deck beneath the canopies).

Another important aspect for the planting structure was to use planting as additional tiers to the design to complement the tiered approach taken with the hardscape structural elements, i.e. split-level platforms, steps with mid landing, terraced, retaining etc. 

Planting also needed to soften the overall effect – take the edge off the hard lines and help better nestle the home and outdoor living areas into their environment.

Sustainable strategies:

Our sustainable landscaping ethos is to design and build spaces that stand the test of time, this minimises the ecological footprint of each project over time.

Our design team aims to create functional spaces with a subtle aesthetic which appeals to a broad range of tastes, allowing our projects to stay current for the long-term and so reducing the need for future renovation.

We specify quality materials which are durable and long-lasting such as concrete, hardwoods and stainless steel.

We are conscious of the production process of materials we use and select socially and environmentally responsible products wherever possible. For example, we use sustainably harvested hardwood such as Vitex over other timber such as Kwila.

We also place a strong emphasis on retaining as much of the existing mature planting as possible at any site, while new plantings are structured to allow easy maintenance.

Mace also encourages the use of dripline irrigation systems and rain sensors to minimise water wastage and maximise plant health.

We source materials locally to reduce transport costs and support local business. Plus, we stay organised and plan ahead to reduce our carbon footprint by bulk ordering materials to be delivered directly to site and growing the majority of our plant material at our nursery in Drury.

At Mace, we also track waste volumes across the company and have targets to reduce waste overall while maximising the amount we recycle.

In addition, we maintain clear communication between teams to make sure product being removed from one site (such as fill, natural rock or plant material) has the opportunity to be repurposed at another project before being sent to a transfer station.

Credit list

Landscape designer
Registered Master Landscapers gold medal

Designed by: Mace Landscape Group

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Harry Janssen; Sky View Photography (drone shot)

18 Jul, 2021

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