The client wanted to completely remodel the dark and narrow paved entrance to their home to incorporate a garden and a cool grassy place for their dog to lie.
Essentially a roof garden which floats on a suspended concrete slab and timber frame, only native and succulent plant choices would thrive in the shallow soil and hot, harsh, north-west, concreted space.
The design created ‘a living sculptural garden’ with a bold plant palette which shines at night as well as during the day. Leaf shape and colour was important given the lack of flowers.
Two Bottle Trees in masonry planter boxes give the garden mass and shade. The trees are teamed with other small shrubs selected for their drought tolerance and ability to survive in shallow soil beds. Artificial turf was chosen because of the lack of soil and effective drainage, drought tolerance, cooling visual appeal and low maintenance.
A series of precast concrete floating platforms reduced the number of level changes and give the illusion of a more generous space. A low Corten steel planter box breaks up the colour palette and relates to the rusty colours of some of the plants and the trim colour on the house.
The new design reduces the amount of hard surfaces and creates more generous garden beds allowing rainwater to be naturally absorbed by the garden. The addition of drainage cells under the artificial turf directs rainwater to large water tanks under the house which can be utilised to water the property’s lower gardens.
An automated irrigation system directs water only where and when it is required. Lighting utilises energy efficient LEDs in keeping with the garden’s low environmental footprint.