Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston Arthur Lathouris Landscape and Garden Designer /Galston

Galston Garden

This garden sits adjacent to bushland in northwest Sydney.

The client asked me for a garden with clean lines and simple planting and a generous lawn buffer zone for protection from bushfires. We decided that the contrast of formal layout and planting would make an interesting contrast with the natural bush.

The brief included a driveway with ample visitor parking and maneuvering, a strong statement on the approach to the front door, large entertainment area, water features, swimming pool and barbeque area, garden equipment storage and many points of interest.

The layout is very formal with spaces and shapes clearly defined by hedging and planting. The front gates are flanked with brick piers which reflect the detailing on the house but the remainder of the front fence is simple black painted mesh lined with a Photinia hedge. This combination still makes a strong statement on approaching the property without destroying the rural/bushland character of the street. The brick paved driveway is lined with Chinese Weeping Elms (Ulmus parvifolia), this simple planting adding definition to the entry and at the same time toning down the impact of brick house and driveway. The trees also screen the garages and lead the eye to the more attractive elements of the house.

The path to the front door is part of a formal circular garden with a large metal urn as its centrepoint, softened by the massed plantings of iceberg roses, Gaura "So White" and Tulbaghia. The house is very long and a gently curving box hedge encloses the garden along the front.

The back garden is divided into several areas each one quite defined yet all tied together by the materials, plantings and flowing lawns. The back patio looks out over a large granite tiled courtyard with a semi circular low brick wall adding interest to what was quite a flat block falling towards the house. As well as defining this area, the wall now directs surface runoff water away from and to the sides of the house. The wall is centred on a large glassed living room and the focal point from the house is a bronze fountain and pond set in the circular steps. These lead up to a formal lawn backed by an arc of Murraya paniculata and beyond this the bush dominated by tall spreading eucalypts.

Also visible from the patio is the pool enclosure and cabana. This is probably my favourite area. It is a very formal pool and the detailing and surrounds were a challenge with close collaboration between the clients, tiler and landscapers. The cabana, built by the client, had to serve many purposes as well as blend in with the house. The back of the cabana includes storage and pool filtration and is joined onto a shower and toilet room.

The pool coping is granite tiles and the pattern of the waterline tiles was designed by the tiler with colours selected to perfectly match those of the house. A separate water feature at the end of the pool is set into a curved brick wall which encloses that end of the pool area and gives protection from southerly winds. The three lion's head fountains are backed by granite sets laid in a traditional classical pattern. At night the lights in the water shine up onto the lion's heads creating a magical shimmering. Between the pool and the fountain is a circular courtyard laid with small square granite sets. This is all defined and softened by the planting with a weeping "Dissectum" maple on either side being the feature.

The garden is beautifully maintained by the client and landscaper, Andrew Slade, and it is always a pleasure to visit and discuss its' progress.

The design is only the beginning and I enjoy working with the clients, landscapers and other trades because it is the combination of ideas and expertise which lead to a extremely satisfying result.