Best of both worlds
A post-quake re-imagining of a classic garden brings together the best of formal structure and rambling rustic beauty.
Having experienced previously the high level of professionalism and exceptional results delivered by Goom Landscapes, Gaye McDonnell says Goom was the obvious choice when embarking on their latest landscaping project.
To ‘simplify and modernise an old classic’, while creating flat expanses of lawn and fun, safe places for their grandkids to play on what is a steep site, were at the top of the McDonnells’ list when enlisting Goom to recreate their outdoor areas.
‘We were after natural indoor/outdoor flow, and a structured, low-maintenance garden that the whole family could enjoy, which would incorporate different areas for our outdoor sculpture collection’, Gaye explains.
From the welcoming formal entranceway, to the adventure-inspired play area for the grandchildren, to the elegant outdoor pool and spa and the stunning vistas it delivers, the McDonnells’ re-envisioned outdoor areas are enjoyed by all, year round.
Heading the project was Goom Landscapes’ Director, Tim Goom. Beginning with the ‘raw concept’, Tim was responsible for every last detail and all the intricacies a hill site demands. ‘The very nature of this project required a fair amount of on-site design to ensure all elements – big and small – were accounted for and worked seamlessly together’, Tim explains.
Another objective of the new design was to modernise the shape of the outdoor swimming pool, and enclose it within a new frameless glass balustrade and fence to allow for unobstructed views across the city and the Canterbury plains beyond.
To update all hard surfaces, contemporary large profile tiles were used in conjunction with a natural basalt tile to highlight the pool’s perimeter and the steps leading to and from the house.
By integrating louvres over the top balcony that overlooks the swimming pool and lower gardens, an external room was created – extending and improving the use of this particular outdoor space, and providing added shelter from the elements and shade for adjacent indoor areas.
A flat expanse of lush emerald lawn beside the pool was created by raising and opening up the lower slopes, which in turn promotes a greater connection with the rest of the garden.
‘By blending existing features with new materials, we were able to create cohesion between the two very different types of landscaping: the upper formal gardens, which are juxtaposed with the lower rambling gardens and play area’, explains Tim.
Bordered by large rustic boulders, the kids’ zone can be found in a secluded nook at one end of the garden. Decked out with a fort, it has been safeguarded with soft-fall surfaces to protect little ones at play.
Reflecting on their experiences with Goom Landscapes, Gaye says Tim’s approach was highly pragmatic and that he listened carefully to what they wanted in order to deliver a truly satisfying result.
‘There was never a feeling of “us” and “them”: it was a truly collaborative project, which we loved being part of.’
0800 466 657 | goom.nz
Words: Majka Kaiser
Photography: Kelly Shakespeare Photography