Space to roam
Outdoor Living|Backyard & Outdoor Living #56
This acreage estate reflects the divine beauty of the botanic gardens
Kylie Baracz
When you have an acreage to play with, there is unlimited design potential and that is what Outdoor Establishments embraced when creating this magnificent bushland estate. Once farming land out in rural north-west Sydney, this tranquil garden has become an entertainer’s oasis, with sheltered zones nestled in the surrounding eucalyptus forest.

The brief was to utilise every corner of the expansive 4000sqm space and to encourage the client’s mother Maria to venture outdoors. “From our initial site consultation, our client requested ‘a garden for my mother to enjoy straight away’ and this comment became the driver for the project, making it clear that we were assisting Maria to create her legacy garden,” says Matthew Hook, director of Outdoor Establishments. “Despite the garden having almost a 5m cross fall, it had to be designed for accessibility with no stairs.”

After the construction of the family home, the landscape was stripped and left barren, with only a handful of trees remaining and no topsoil. The clay had been compacted by trucks, which meant Matthew and his team needed to consider soil remediation. “We inherited a building site of waste, the footprint of a large on-site detention basin with two visible biofiltration sewage tanks. All of which had to be removed or integrated into the landscape,” says Matthew.

By working closely with Maria, Matthew and his team developed the layout of the garden, the programming of the spaces and selecting materials and planting palettes. What eventuated was an incredible working relationship between the two.

“She wanted the garden to embody elements of her life in Australia as well as her Italian/ Mediterranean heritage,” recalls Matthew. “A garden that provided spaces for entertaining her extended family, as well as intimate spaces for her to spend quiet time alone.”

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