When I first saw this landscape design I couldn’t help but be entranced by the mysterious Asian influenced doorway to the front garden leading to a journey through lush foliage to the front door of the home. Designed by Janine Mendel of CultivArt Landscape Design for her own home, she said that her main aim was to be able to see the garden from every room and have the house look as if it was planted in the garden. “Because the site is very narrow, I placed the garage to the front of the block and pushed the house as far back as possible. This created a walled courtyard between the garage and the house and enabled me to capitalise on the aspect. The front of the house faces due North so the Alfresco and the front living area is bathed in winter sun and protected from the cold south westerly winds. The idea was to not waste any of the limited space available and to create a journey to the front door via the boardwalk through the abundant sub tropical gardens. The front gatehouse has become my front door of sorts and what would generally be just a path to the door has become a beautiful view from the internal living areas. There are two other courtyards providing views from the breezeway, kitchen and rear living. The central courtyard is crisp and fresh providing a beachy feel and the rear courtyard is my play garden where I experiment with new plant varieties.
Sustainable features: (in Janine’s words) “Most plants are waterwise. Although the site is small, there are 13 trees in the garden altogether. The house is designed based on passive solar principles and the aspect and abundant foliage means very little air conditioning is required. Personally, I think that trees are underated as a means of creating not only beauty but sustainable living environments by the provision of shade and habitat for microorganisms, insects and birds. There is no doubling up of such unsustainable excesses as outdoor kitchens and appliances. An abundance of fresh herbs grow amongst the core planting and two citrus trees in the rear courtyard provide year round supply of lemons and limes.”
[Photography by Peta North]