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210 HOMES & ART SPRING 2014
Landscape designer Dean Herald on
writing and planting.
Do you have any current favourites among
species to plant with?
At the moment I am enjoying using plants with
lush foliage that also include noticeable flowers.
Over the last few years there have been a lot of
gardens featuring more minimalistic plants such
as grasses, but of late I have started using more
Ornamental Gingers (such as Alpinia zerumbet)
and Rock Lilies (Arthropodium cirratum). These
are great foliage texture plants, which also have
seasonal flowers to allow the garden to change
through the year.
You’re also an author – with the success
of your latest book, are there any more in
I’ve had two books published; the last book,
21st Century Residential Landscape Design is
a collection of some of my favourite projects. It
includes some insight into each project, along
with a selection of professional images. At the
moment, I have no plans for another book, but
we are currently working on some fantastic
projects, so who knows in the future!
Rolling Stone Landscapes (02) 9651 5002,
rollingstonelandscapes.com (designers) Cosh Living
coshliving.com.au (lounge and dining table) Di Lorenzo
dilorenzo.net.au (Ecolight porcelain tiles) Ezarri
ezarri.com (tiling) Splish Splash Pools splishsplashpools.
com.au (pool construction) Woodform Architectural
woodformarchitectural.com.au (timber decking and panelling).
The extremely steep site was a challenge,
with all machinery and materials brought
in and out via a barge or craned in over the
house. However, the logistical issues were
overcome and the immaculate new design
and construction of a main pavilion at the
top of the landscape was all achieved, as
were the pool area with adjacent lounge,
and additional pavilion to the mid-section
and grassed areas with breakout seating.
The main pavilion includes a sleek
and fully equipped kitchen with a sink,
barbecue, fridge and woodfired pizza oven.
Purpose-built for entertaining, the large
dining area has a wall-mounted television
and adjacent spa, which was sunk into the
timber decking of a cantilevered balcony.
“On the same level as the pavilion is
a sunken firepit area nestled underneath
a large existing frangipani,” says Dean.
“Travel down a set of steel stairs and you
come to an inviting blue pool with wet-
edge spill-over out to the bay.”
The cantilevered section of the upper
pavilion, clad in feature timber panelling,
ensures that there is shade by the generous
poolside lounge, which is paired with
another mature frangipani. This floating
element is Dean’s favourite feature.
“It enables the area to be used twice,
once for the spa at pavilion level, and
then as a shade area to the poolside
paving. As land is tight in Sydney, being
able to utilise an area multiple times is
a great way of claiming more usable space.”
The curves of the vibrant blue pool mimic
the shapes in the lower lawn area, and aid
a spectacular view. “Because the property
is steep, the shapes of the landscapes were
very important as they would be often
viewed from above,” Dean says.
The pool has an internal finish in
Ezarri tiles, with Ecolight porcelain pavers
from Di Lorenzo surrounding. Elevation
changes enabled two levels of water
plus, on the higher paved seating area,
a water feature which spills down into the
pool below. The natural curve of the pool
creates a unique wet edge, which flows
over into a holding tank.
Extensive outdoor lighting was used
throughout the landscaping to extend the
hours of use well into the Sydney night.
Plants were chosen to emphasise
the shapes of the design and to provide
contrasting colour. A mature Dracaena
draco (Dragon Blood Tree) was craned over
the home and works well in combination
with the two existing frangipani trees
as a feature planting. Other plants
include Buxus microphylla (Japanese Box),
Senecio serpens (Blue Chalk Sticks) and
Alternanthera dentate ‘Little Ruby’.
“These were planted in mass to
emphasise the minimal design of the
project and to also enhance the shapes of
the hard surfaces,” says Dean.
The overall style of the garden is clean
and fresh, with white walls, white floors
and blue pool tiles creating a sleek and
sophisticated, Mediterranean vibe. This
cool palette is warmed by the addition of
the timber decking and feature panelling.
Dean says the owners have been
delighted with their newly functional
space and stunning design. “They love
their new backyard and have already used
it for entertaining friends and family,” he
says. “Meanwhile the pool has been a huge
hit with their children.”
The curved lines of the pool serve to mimic the
shape of the lower lawn and connect to the view.
The cool palette is warmed a little by
the use of timber decking.
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