A lifespace

A lifespace

An inspired design by Goom Landscapes has enhanced the natural beauty of the surrounding area, and delivered a series of beautiful spaces for family living

When they purchased the large family home, the potential of the 250sqm space out the back – cushioned on all sides by mature trees and bordered by a stream – was not lost on this couple.
But, perceiving the latent beauty of a space is not the same thing as having a clear vision and carefully-delineated plan; and whilst these homeowners are no strangers to hard work or ambitious projects, they needed someone to envision how the space might work.
In Goom Landscapes, they found a landscape architect and a dedicated team who were able to re-imagine and utterly regenerate the space. ‘We knew of their great reputation’, they explain. ‘For the quality they deliver, you really can’t go past them.’
Landscape architect, Emma Johnston was ‘excellent’, they share. ‘She was able to see exactly how the space could work. We really liked her vision, and decided to just go for it.’
Arriving on the scene, Emma was struck by several issues. The badly damaged, unfenced pool needed to be dug out and replaced, and brought up to compliance – which was no insubstantial task. And, with only one outdoor living space, this languishing landscape was neither inviting nor inspiring for the couple and their three daughters.
At Goom Landscapes they are passionate about creating ‘lifespaces’ that complement their clients’ homes and that have been designed for year-round enjoyment. 
As the homeowner comments, Emma’s design has given their family ‘so many options for a small space’ – which with three teenage daughters is a real bonus.
Emma’s design has also reclaimed the black shed that opens out to the garden. ‘When we bought the place, you should’ve seen the shed’, shares the homeowner – adding that it had a ‘boat-shed feel’, even in its unloved state. Ripe for transformation, the ‘shed’ is now a hangout space for the couple’s teenage daughters and their friends.
Everything here is smooth and seamless, to enhance the sense of fluidity and openness. Folding around two sides of the pool, a sleek glass fence with mini posts delineates the space in the most elegant, unobtrusive way. Meanwhile, the back wall is now a feature in its own right: ‘we just knew the kids would want to jump off it!’, remarks Emma.
Gone are the untidy, skinny pavers around the pool, replaced by 50mm-thick, square-edged, granite paving stones all the way from Melbourne. The homeowner recalls Emma’s passion for the pavers. ‘She convinced us to get them; and they are fantastic: they have a sparkle to them, but it’s not obvious.’ 
When it came to the planting, a Planting Manager – a horticulturalist specialising in plant knowledge – from Goom Landscapes met with the couple to discuss what they wanted, and to devise a plan that would bring form and texture, and life, to the space. 
In the plans, there was one small apron of grass. ‘A painful piece to mow’, Emma acknowledges, ‘we decided to use artificial turf for the area, which means it’s always green’. 
Looking at the space now, it is difficult to believe what it was like when the couple first purchased the property, or for that matter the mud that covered the backyard throughout the transformation.
This carefully-integrated area offers a series of beautiful spaces for the family to enjoy – over summer, of course, and throughout the year. (Whatever side of the proverbial fence, whatever time of year, the grass is always green.)
‘Every part of the space can be, and is, used’, says Emma – ‘there’s a lot going on’.
‘We love the whole thing – how it all flows’, echoes the homeowner. ‘Emma was excellent; the whole team were – and we are getting them back to do the entranceway now.’ 

0800 466 657  |  goomlandscapes.co.nz

Words: Kate Barber        Photography: Kevin Clarke

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