One couple’s affinity with nature has led to the creation of a stunning collection of ‘lifespaces’ realised by Goom Landscapes.
Over the last four decades that Rob and Libby McCormack have lived in this stately Fendalton villa, Goom Landscapes has been involved with four major landscaping projects. So, when the earthquakes struck, it provided Goom with the ideal opportunity to revisit the design.
A self-confessed perfectionist, Rob says that their vision for this next chapter required absolute commitment and understanding on both sides to achieve exactly what they wanted. Working with Goom over the best part of a year, Rob says there were many meetings and ‘idea-sharing sessions’ to ensure every last detail was meticulously attended to.
A collaborative effort over the years between many designers at Goom, Senior Landscape Architect Emma Johnston was tasked with the post-quake revisions.
‘We really valued Emma’s ability to listen and translate our vision into the stunning end result we enjoy today’, says Rob. From the day planning began, to when the final plant took root, Rob attributes the success of each ‘lifespace’ to the technical skill, attention to detail, vast knowledge and fine craftsmanship of the whole team.
Seizing the opportunity to revisit the design and material selection, Emma says striking the balance between old and new presented its unique set of challenges, as did the unpredictable ground levels surrounding the perimeter of the old villa.
‘There were many tense and frustrating moments as we negotiated the uneven site so the straight edge of the tile perfectly aligned with the quirky angles of the house’, Emma explains. A key element providing seamless continuity between all three outdoor zones, the hair-pulling frustrations were well worth the effort.
Another challenge facing the team was retaining as many trees and softscaping from the original garden as possible, and due to the lengthy crossover period between builders and landscapers, Emma says most of the box hedging was ‘babysat’ in Goom’s nursery over the best part of a year.
Given the couple’s close connection with nature, creating the ultimate outdoor sanctuary for enjoyment year-round was vital. Electric outdoor heaters combined with the romance and warmth of an open fire means that there’s rarely the need for blankets to keep cosy, even on the chilliest winter night.
Standing back to admire how it all came together, Emma says the combination of the pergola’s cedar structure and copper detailing, which mirrors the home’s copper spouting, is the most satisfying aspect for her, as well as the strategic lighting design that really brings each outdoor space to life when the sun sets.
Rob agrees that the exterior lighting really packs a punch. ‘When we’re in full entertaining mode, the grid gets hit hard and I swear we can be seen as far away as the Hubble Space Craft’, he jokes.
With three outdoor ‘rooms’ to choose from, the couple have different options for entertaining and relaxing in the company of their Schnauzer puppies. And, to enjoy even more time relaxing in their outdoor spaces instead of tending to them, they have contracted Goom for regular and ongoing maintenance to keep their outdoor oasis in tip-top shape all year round.
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