What you see in these pictures are the foundations of what will be a magnificent garden – a garden which has been created in a barren landscape on what was a building site.
And when you know that this garden is on a small island, the scope of the project begins to emerge – a project not only on a grand scale but one where the logistics of material management and strategic planning had to be of the highest order to bring it to completion.
Bioscapes owner Noel Brown took on this complex project which was originally designed by Michael Webber Design. Noel and Michael worked closely together on what became a design and construct due to the changed site conditions. The house was highly elevated on the block, triggering a major retaining requirement, which included 200 tonne of sandstone, 91 tonne of gravel and 900 tonne of mattress rock for the foreshore. The only way to get the rock around the site was to ferry it, in a bobcat, one bucket at a time!
The owners were keen to reference their European heritage and wanted pine trees around the perimeter of the island. Noel selected Hawaiian Pines for their attractive dense foliage and the fact that they will not grow as tall as other species. While they may not be very European, they certainly look the part and will grow to become a defining element of this landscape scheme. Each pine tree has hand-crafted circular sandstone edging around it – just a small proportion of the 500 lineal metres of garden edging that contours the site, all of which was also hand-crafted and shaped to suit.
All the materials used in this project were sourced locally – the sandstone comes from Helidon, while the timber used in the sinuous walkway is Australian Ironbark. And at 47 metres, an impressive walkway it is – it provides a transition between the tiled verandah of the house and the softening of the grass which is between the decking and garden beds. Local glass artist Lisa DeBoer was commissioned for the outdoor glass art features used in the landscape design.
And what lies hidden during the day becomes a stunning feature come night time. A lighting project which took four men a month to complete illuminates the property, in particular, the formal arbour with stainless espaliers to train grape vines in the pool area, where you can enjoy the choice of multi-coloured lights. Designed using 150 abnodosied aluminium high performance Aqualux lights, chosen specifically for their lasting durability in outdoor environments, the effects range from a soft green, subtle lilac or a vibrant red depending on the desired mood. Elsewhere in the garden, features have been illuminated much more conventionally, but with skill and drama to accentuate the details of the landscaping.
This is a project which will continue to develop over time as the various plantings reach maturity – the grove of palms will create a feathery green oasis while the Crepe Myrtles and the Gardenias will bring colour and perfume. Noel has chosen plants that will be able to withstand the salt and winds which an exposed position brings, many of them endemic to the area. Gazanias and coastal dune ground covers will conserve moisture in the soil, as well as Coastal Rosemary and Grass Trees.
￼￼Noel Brown of Bioscapes is justifiably proud of this project – he and his team have overcome the difficulties presented by the limited access to the site – exaggerated by the sheer scale of the works require – to create for his clients a spectacular setting for their magnificent and unique home.To give you an idea of the scale of the project Noel used 200 tonnes of sandstone, 250 cubic metres of soil, 100 cubic metres of mulch, 1000 square metres of turf, 65 tonne of sandstone tiles and wall cladding.
That is a heroic undertaking in anybody’s language!