Portfolio

Makara Magic

Since moving to MakaraBeach in 2008 Rebecca has been taught a thing or two about wind! Extreme winds and driving salt storms lash this little beach village frequently. Rebecca has managed to create a charming and dramatic beach garden which defies the local sceptics who assured her that gardening in such extreme conditions was just not possible. Basing her scheme on the traditional medieval “Paradise Garden” as a safe garden retreat protected from external hazards ( in this case more of nature than marauding armies!) the garden relies on a series of wind screens, roofed areas and tough peripheral planting to allow her to grow a surprising range of native and exotic plants. A dramatic covered deck and a series of coloured tile and mosaic courtyards provide sheltered outdoor living areas in most weather conditions. Built by: Rebecca Wilson and Colin Grimwood   Tweet...
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Heart Of The Beachfront

The owner of this beach-house is a very keen gardener and was keen to create a variety of spaces for plants and intimate areas for sitting within the gardens. The  heart-shaped layout creates several small usable areas for sitting out in a variety of conditions/seasons etc and creates interesting spaces for planting. The garden has also spilt out onto the road reserve where it provides a wonderful feature at the end of this quiet street. The client says: “I had the house ‘rearranged’ for an indoor – outdoor flow, but outdoors was not cooperating.  The garden had rather an old-fashioned look and the seafront I soon discovered, was not the place to grow a luscious lawn. To me, the foundation of any good garden is the design, especially for a small one, which can be very unforgiving if the proportions are not just right.  I didn’t have the courage...
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Wave Deck

I include this old project in the portfolio only because I am so fond of it – it was my first paid job back in 1993! – and also because it illustrates boldly that decks don’t have to be square! The clients were presented with two concepts, one being a regular square deck, and they bravely went for this option and have been enjoying it ever since. Although small, the spaces work well and create a variety of usable areas. The garden has hosted many a garden party, regular theatre performances and more recently rose to the occasion for a family wedding. Their gorgeous little beachouse used to have views of the sea but these had been lost long ago as Eastbourne developed. The clients wanted to feel reconnected with the beach so I used driftwood for garden edging, coastal plants and sand-coloured pavers (unfortunately way back...
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Wild Tiles

This beachfront property, graced with a wonderful new home by architect Roger Walker, has two distinct sides – the beach frontage with the lap pool, deck, and rustic timber details, and the ‘inland” entrance garden area which presents a more sheltered, lush face to the street. The front door is located half way down the narrow southern side of the house but the design makes this a fun journey.  The broken tile detail in the drive leads to the dramatic foliage-inspired gate by John Calvert. The tile path continues to meander in sinuous curves to the bright red front door, passing intriguing views into a private courtyard on the way. The front garden forms the foreground to the harbour and beach. The deck features another piece by John Calvert – a rustic seat, again inspired by native plant forms. Planting is tough enough to withstand...
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New Seatoun

This modern home was carefully designed to leave small but effective spaces for outdoor living on this relatively small section. A sense of space is maintained with the way the house opens fully to the garden. The pergola-covered entranceway  creates a definite threshold coming in off the street, and the garden is a nice surprise in this built-up area. The courtyards make use of paving with pebble and shell which reflects the beach nearby. The use of black mondo grass strips in the paving adds bold texture to the clean lines and defines the various spaces. The layout is simple to maximise the feeling of space and interest is provided with the paving details, sculptural features and planting.   Tweet...
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Contemporary Beach Living

This large family holiday home required a garden which could satisfy the needs of a large extended family. Children’s play areas, boat storage access, outdoor showers, entertaining, dining and sun-bathing all had to happen in this smallish front yard. With the open beach just through the hedge shelter and privacy was also an issue.     Tweet...
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Australian Beachhouse

This rustic and delightful house belongs to my sister and her family on the coast south of Geelong in Victoria. I was naturally asked to come up with some ideas for the garden and it is a fun process watching the garden evolve – and helping to build bits of it whilst on ‘holiday”! There are some lovely details here worth sharing, built entirely by the very creative family who also built all the renovations to the house, including an entire floor on top of the old council house. An old garage on the north side was removed to allow the driveway area to be developed for outdoor living and garden space. A new garage and parking area was created on the south side of the house. The first stage of a substantial deck has been completed. This enlarges the living area of the lower floor and is roofed...
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Lush Coastal

  Eastbourne Beachfront This property fronts onto Eastbourne waterfront and also looks back towards the bush clad hills just one block away to the east. Whilst the aim of the garden on the seaward side was to provide an effective foreground to the open harbour views, the inland garden area warranted a totally different approach. The clients were open about their lack of skills but were very enthusiastic in their desire to celebrate both sides of their special property. The beachside garden incorporated enlarged and reshaped decks to encourage more use of this area, and reworked planting to better emphasise the coastal location. A beautiful steel and stone gate by artist John Calvert graces the widened entrance to the beach, and the client’s brother carved the wonderful seaweed- inspired posts. The fence of slate-blue colour steel and railway sleepers provides privacy and shelter for the...
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Beachside Oasis

This was Rebecca Wilson’s previous garden, and it celebrates its beachside setting in flamboyant style! Only a 300m2 site but a variety of outdoor living areas are created, each with a distinct atmosphere. Hand-crafted details in the mosaic work add colour and personality offset by lush, predominantly native coastal planting.                   Tweet...
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