A Multi-Level Family-Friendly Space: Randwick, by Secret Gardens

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In the southeast suburbs of Sydney, Australia, you’ll find Randwick — where you’ll also find this marvelous courtyard garden that’s both kid- and adult-friendly, a multileveled hideaway from Sydney’s own Secret Gardens. Every part of this space is meant for everyone, from the parents’ desire to relax and entertain to their three children’s desire for great play spots. You might not suspect all that awaits you as you enter the front, with its sophisticated tone, dramatic plantings, and splendid green-tiled wall (especially striking when up-lighted by night). Certainly, there’s a glimpse of whimsy and more color in striped cushions, and a narrow side walk lined with bamboo makes a perfect spot for riding toys. But there are more delights of contrast in store for you as you amble through the space.

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You can pause for a quick seesaw ride in the shadow of a contemporary abstract sculpture. You can take a breather next to a soothing fountain that cascades over pure white rock, and enjoy the pleasure of indoor/outdoor style that takes you seamlessly from terraced wood decking and built-in benches to the home’s interior, even to an inviting staircase to the second floor. A white privacy wall, edged in planted beds and bonsai-style trees, bears clever sconces that lend a serene nighttime ambience to the cozy space. Sculpting gardens in a suburban yard can be tricky, especially when you’re trying to make a space that’s welcoming for kids and adults alike…but this Randwick garden, with its lush “pampering” feel, does just that, courtesy of the artists of Secret Gardens.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).