Alfred Project – Deep Dive
It’s not often we come across a project with so many challenges; extremely tight access, rock excavation, tree roots, and a sewer main that required encasing. Good times.
The back yard is 11m deep x 7m wide. This space is broken into three sections; an entertaining area, a level lawn, and the pool. We view the importance of each area as equal, therefore each area is roughly the same depth.
The entertaining area is level with the inside floorboards, creating a seamless flow between the inside and out. The area is also raised two steps above the lawn area. This not only catered to the existing lay of the land but also enhances the view down towards the pool. The area is tiled in sawn Bluestone; a hard-wearing natural stone. We use Bluestone a lot for entertaining areas due to it’s resistance to stains.
The level lawn is a hard-wearing shade tolerant Buffalo variety. The lawn is bordered by a textural planting palette of Raphiolepsis, Lomandra, Kalanchoe, Sanseveria and more. The access to the pool is via a stepping stones pathway planted with Native Violets between each paver. A large Snow Pear positioned din the curved garden bed provides interest and privacy.
A Sydney Water sewer main is positioned directly underneath the location of the pool. As per council requirements, if you want to build over a sewer has to be encased in concrete. This isn’t normally such a big deal as an excavator makes quick work of it. The access down the side is only 800mm wide, far too narrow for a standard excavator. Fortunately, after an exhausting search, we were able to locate an excavator small enough to fit down the side of the house.
The excavator was about the size of a small motorbike which made the entire excavation a long process. The soil was removed via conveyor belts into skip bins. Even with such a small excavator, it still beat hand digging! Well done to the construction team for
The pool interior is light blue-grey Ezzari mosaic tile. The reflection from the trees above gives the water a beautiful turquoise colour. The pool coping and surrounds are tiled in Bluestone to match the entertaining area.
We didn’t want to the small size of the backyard, we didn’t want to take up any more space using bushy hedging plants around the perimeter. A hardwood screen along the rear boundary has been left to turn a stunning grey tone. The boundary fences were painted with Dulux Monument to give the illusion of depth and make the plants pop.
Our design team did a great job of fitting the three key elements into such a small backyard; an entertaining area, a level lawn, and a pool. A big part of any garden growing to its full potential is the care it receives. Our maintenance team has been caring for this garden since the beginning.
Plants from our friends at Exotic Nurseries.
Pots from The Balcony Garden.
Photography by Hannah Blackmore.