The clients wanted a verdant outdoor space to accommodate both entertaining for adults and active fun for their children. The main feature would be a swimming pool with a built-in spa surrounded by a spacious patio. They wanted to retain as many of the existing plants as possible, including several mature windmill palms. They wanted the planting to provide contrasting textures and forms, emphasizing bold foliage rather than flowery display. .
The contemporary design organizes the entertaining areas on a single level, providing flexibility in how the space is used. A swimming pool with a tanning ledge and a raised spa are connected by a spillover water-feature that generates white noise. The planting around the pool area includes a 4-foot-deep Portuguese laurel hedge, providing a noise buffer from the neighbouring property. The retained windmill palms are complemented with new, bold foliage of hardy bananas and phormiums, reinforcing the feel of a tropical resort. The pool terrace is bordered on one side by a low concrete retaining wall that helps define the area. The retaining wall joins the house’s concrete wall, connecting the home’s architecture with the garden. The contemporary angles of the retaining wall minimize the wall’s visual mass and separate the entertaining area from a more traditional upper terrace garden that includes a sinuous lawn surrounded by mixed borders of flowering shrubs and perennials, and a curved, raised vegetable bed. At the rear of the property, trees, shrubs, and hedges are positioned and maintained at heights that do not block views of the surrounding forest, visually extending the garden into the woods behind the fence.