Where the Owner Hangs Out: Sydney Beachside Garden by Secret Gardens

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At a location that’s just shy of Coogee Beach, Sydney, Australia, this secluded beach garden at the end of a private cul-de-sac is one of the many “secret gardens” executed by Secret Gardens Landscape Designers. The focus of the “home” is actually this outdoor space — no surprise, since this dwelling is the home of Secret Gardens’ owner! In that context, the design takes pains to make sure every window of the house has either a view of the main garden or of internal courtyards; notice the lavish shade from mature trees that makes the outdoor space comfortable even in the height of summer — as does the lap pool behind an unobtrusive glass wall!

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Picture yourself lazing on one of those plush loungers in the warm sunlight; cactus plants nearby provide a hint of green coolness, as does climbing ivy on the white concrete wall and a “forest” of trees espaliered next to a neat seating area. Concrete planters of all sizes enclose tall, spiky greenery; over the infinity edge of the pool, a gentle cascade offers both soothing sight and sound. Just off the entertaining terrace, suspended from the branch of a venerable tree, is a fun swing for the young at heart; for more sedate relaxation, a white couch and wicker chairs group on one wood deck. An al fresco dining table and chairs reside in the shade, ready for impromptu meals or drinks, and only a few steps from the interior living space. Altogether, it’s a great showpiece — a private space that’s also great “advertising” for the complete landscape and pool services offered by 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).