Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Bella Vista

Bella Vista Garden

Bella Vista is a new suburb in the Baulkham Hills area of North Western Sydney. It is characterized by large houses on small blocks. The backyard of this block is particularly small and is "L" - shaped with a narrow passageway on the opposite side of the house.

The clients had particular wishes for a swimming pool, a covered outdoor entertainment area, solar access to the living areas, a lawn for their dog and plantings to soften the originally proposed paling boundary fences. Overall the design was to be modern and uncluttered with clearly defined shapes and spaces.

The first issue that needed confronting urgently was the boundary retaining walls and fences, as the Eastern neighbour was about to build a wall to solve his problems without considering the structural and visual effects on the other side. I suggested a block wall with an extended footing on "our" side. This footing was then used to build a 600mm high planterbox which allowed us to raise our planting to soften the towering unattractive paling fence. The resulting structure is stronger, cheaper and more attractive than what was originally being proposed in isolation.

We approached the other two neighbours with solutions which were advantageous to all and finished with three different but appropriate treatments on these sides. The pool, which is close to the boundary, has a masonry wall rather than a paling fence as backdrop, and the back boundary which is so prominent from and looms over all living and entertainment areas is an attractive hardwood slatted fence which will be softened, but not totally screened, by the planting.

The pool was to be "tucked around the corner" and isolated from the main entertainment areas. If pool fencing requirements were to be adhered to it meant a very cramped unattractive area was on the cards. It was decided to use the whole space without internal fencing (except behind the pond/water feature) by using the house walls and the absence of opening windows as the "fence". This gave us full unimpeded access around the house as well as to the pool whilst maximizing the size of the pool and its surrounds. The pool steps and water feature were "wrapped" around the corner of the house making them visible and accessible from the main part of the yard through the glass pool fencing.

The plum coloured wall in the area reflected a colour used on a feature wall in the house. This colour was reinforced with the selection of Rhoeo planted above the wall and in pots in the entertainment area. A similarly coloured Cordyline added further impact. Other plantings were mainly green to tone down imposing structural elements. Some flower colour is also evident throughout the year.

The glass and pebble water feature was designed in conjunction with The Australian Pool Company and forms an interesting ornament visible from the house as well as the outdoor spaces. The "lady" ornament overlooking the pool was selected by the owner after discussion on the position for something "special".

Further colour coordination with the house was achieved by the use of black waterline tiles and pebbles in the pool, black detail insert tiles in the patio and kitchen courtyard (side passage) and black limestone stepping stones contrasting with white crushed limestone down the side passage. Pots are also a charcoal colour as are the feature stackstone walls in the pool and patio.

To achieve a sunny yet shaded, dry, private outdoor entertainment space, an aluminium adjustable louvre pergola was built. The supporting brick piers were built and detailed to tie in visually with the house so that the structure looks part of the house. The overall effect is simple, modern and elegant.