The brief for the horticultural design was to introduce a site appropriate, visually striking and architecturally complementary planting palette. The site is located on the tip of North Mona Vale headland which comprises heavy clays, sandstone escarpments and shale cliffs. With that position came a harsh, coastal environment. Conditions included dominant on-shore winds, heavy rain, salt spray, full sun exposure for 8+ hours of the day, and a wind tunnel effect up the side passages of the home. This strongly influenced the planting palette which included combinations of Australian natives, exotic tropical and succulent plantings.
The setting in the Northern Beaches of Sydney called for a relaxed yet refined garden to compliment the home and its locality. Opportunities were taken to reference existing native planting species seen at the North Mona Vale Headland Reserve. As well as species workshopped with the client based on their preferred garden style. Sculpture formed a big part of the design vision, selecting key architectural species to be paired with native plantings shaped using topiary techniques.
Advanced tree plantings provide height and scale while setting the tone of sub-tropical and tropical species. In protected areas of the garden, native plantings were selected to create lush pockets. Species selection was a balancing act between client expectations, climatic conditions and aesthetics.
Bold, architectural plantings suiting the client’s brief, but also using plantings that will cope with such harsh environmental conditions. A pleasing delicate contrasting of textures within that theme, giving the planting movement, depth and softness. A demonstrated understanding of microclimates.