FAMILY WELLNESS RETREAT
Redman Avenue, Illawong | Residential
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers
2012 – National Gold Award Residential Garden more than 151m2
This garden retreat is a great example of meeting the needs of the changing world in which we live. When families come back together under the one roof for reasons such as heath, companionship or convenience. However as mature individuals, one with dementia, they are still seeking a space within the outdoors that can deliver the needs of the individual and allow them to continue to enjoy the garden space. The brief for this project was very much about this, however on this occasion, just to complicate this further, we had five clients within the one family and five very different individual goals, shared across only one garden.
The rear garden is calm and inviting, the summer house is nestled into the planting and the pathway has a combination of safe and reliable lines with a sense of interest. Access to the summer house can be taken by a gentle slope from the rear entertaining area or take a more direct route via the wide access steps, for the nimbler members of the family. The pathway acts as the back bone of the garden, its layout stretches the garden visually whilst still connecting the key zones such as the open lawn, summer house and veggie patch area. Each area delivers to its user the sense of space whilst still offering the feeling of ownership.
The selection of planting allows for the marking of the seasons, and it has a combination of key back bones shrubs that offer all year round stability, combined with a barrage of seasonal flowering plants that offer a visual delight to our clients garden retreat. Small deciduous trees punctuate the garden and draw your eye from the home and the summer house. The summer house is the place to get away and a key focus within the client’s brief. It is important that it is in character with the home and doesn’t look out of place within the garden. The internal floor space is flexible to work within the needs of the client, from morning tea with friends, to a place for a break from a busy day, or a moment of contemplation. As we all get older it’s important to stay busy, routine is good and a sense of worth is vital, so a veggie patch is the answer with raised garden beds for easy access. Composting and a place for just good old fashioned potting up!
Great gardens are a partnership with our clients, and this garden retreat is a great example of consultation with all stake holders. There was no overriding, important client in this consultative, provocative challenge and it was entirely satisfying to hear a few months later that the garden has created a really galvanizing space for all to enjoy. In this modern era where generations of people are often separated, it was very rewarding to problem solve and help to provide harmony to a family embarking on a new future, together.