ON THE EDGE
Australian House & Garden Magazine|January 2022
When it came to designing a garden for this extraordinary clifftop location, designers Matt Leacy and Tom Wright delivered an equally unique response: a resilient beauty that is at one with the landscape, unfazed by the elements.
Elizabeth Wilson
The journey through this garden takes in wondrous sights both inside its boundaries and beyond. Limegreen mounds of native groundcover Scleranthus biflorus are dotted between the recycled-sleeper steppers, adding a magical quality to the design. Equally characterful are the sprawling dark green undulations of Casuarina glauca ‘Cousin It’. Other key plantings include flamboyant Agave weberi, westringia, dwarf woolly bush (Adenanthos sericeus ‘Compacta’), Leucophyta brownii, correa and lomandra. Encircling the firepit are hardwood sleepers and granite boulders, while the surface under the firepit is decomposed granite.

As far as exhilarating locations go, Sarah and Jeff’s property on Sydney’s Northern Beaches is hard to beat. Perched at the top of a 20-metre high bluff it overlooks one of the city’s most secluded and pristine beaches, with the sound of breakers crashing below and unimpeded, front-row views of the swell. It’s also bordered by natural rugged bushland which stretches and arcs around to a neighbouring headland.

“It’s a unique scenario,” says Matt Leacy, designer and director of Landart, who was enlisted to design the garden for this extraordinary site. “The surrounding bush and headland are part of a nature reserve that can never be built out, so it’s a pretty rare find for Sydney.”

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