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landscape design. Simple, elegant & low maintenance courtyard garden.

landscape design. Simple, elegant & low maintenance courtyard garden.

Media – Inside Out


Project  Queenspark


Date  May 2021

Author Inside Out

Photography Natalie Hunfalvay

Landscape Design Outdoor Establishments

Project Queenspark

Words by  Chris Pearson

PDF  See Article

Landscape design by Outdoor Establishments

Services for this garden include, landscape design, landscape artchitecture, landscape construction and horticulture. 

Simple Garden Design

Replacing a tired Tuscan scheme and fountain, the simple new design for this Sydney courtyard works for its owners in ways they never expected. 
This courtyard is brilliantly suited to a couple who don’t love gardening. A Japanese black pine tree supplies verticality, underplanted with Japanese box and dwarf mondo grasses. A cardboard cycad (Zamia furfuracea) sits in a pot from Hibernate Outdoors. Tribù ‘Vintage’ chairs and Gloster ‘Split’ table, Cosh Living. Banquette seat, Inform. Wall lights, Gardens At Night.

Setting the scene

While it’s the perfect spot for rest, relaxation and reflection, this small but stylish courtyard garden in Sydney’s inner suburbs also rolls up its sleeves and earns its living – big time. And the hardscaping does much of the hard yards. “As it’s only five metres by 10 metres, our approach was to make every millimetre count, from a functional perspective or [an aesthetic one] through the inclusion of beautiful finishes and details,” says its creator, Trystan Graham of Outdoor Establishments. “When space is limited, if the landscape performs poorly or the construction is not executed well, there is no hiding it.” 

Playing with scale – paradoxically, a smart way to make a small space seem larger – he also commissioned three handcrafted oversized planters to sit beside the barbecue. Then, in keeping with the brief for low-maintenance greenery, Trystan opted for a mix of robust and sculptural species, such as a Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii) for shading, underplanted with Japanese box (Buxus microphylla var. japonica) and mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus). It’s no coincidence that a Japanese theme emerges, with echoes of Zen permeating this space. “Simplicity was key,” says Trystan. “This garden isn’t overly designed or cluttered. It’s laid out for purpose and built with a simple and clean material palette complemented by an interesting composition of plantings.”

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