Belle Magazine Australia
Front Row Image Credit: Belle Magazine Australia
Front Row Image Credit: Belle Magazine Australia

Front Row

Planted in a dress circle location on Sydney Harbour, this richly layered contemporary garden drapes an historic property, covering it in green glory.

Michael Bates

This heroic harbourside residence in Sydney’s east has qualities that few grand homes are able to achieve. Sited on one of the most protected nooks of the harbour, the house is a majestic old dame with sandstone turrets and timber gables. She had to be dressed using thoughtful,broad strokes. The garden had to respect her age and grandeur.

This house and garden have been remade by two successive generations of the same family. Even though much of the place has been renovated, the upgraded work matches seamlessly with the original. The most recent upgrade has been done with sensitivity, delicately introducing contemporary features into the heritage fabric. Our work here was minor in the scheme of the upgrade, and even less significant in the overall life of the house. Yet it’s heartening to know that our stonework and mass planting contribute to the magic of this place.

So what kind of garden is most suited to a stately abode such as this? Landscape architect Daniel Baffsky of 360 Degrees is the David Bowie of garden design. His avant-garde approach to incorporating offbeat ideas reimagines the rules of planting. He has shied away from pomp, and there are certainly no itsy-bitsy plantings here. Instead, he has confidently instilled a certain casualness and charm around the articulated struc


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