Nestled in one of Sydney’s harbourside suburbs, this petite courtyard was renovated recently, just in time for summer and its fabulous outdoor entertaining. The work of Joanne Neylon of Joanne Green Landscape and Interior (who celebrates 40 years in business this year!), the owners wanted the space to feel contemporary and tranquil while providing a backdrop for outdoor entertaining. They also wanted improved flow between the inside of their home and the outdoors.
Set on just 40 square metres and positioned adjacent to the street, Joanne was tasked with creating a private zone that still had a sense of openness – not an easy task. After demolishing the existing landscaping, the designer created a new levelled entertaining space with New Guinea Rosewood decking the foundation for the design.
From there, she added planting, lighting and furniture. “We included a number of custom features in this design, but my favourite would be the Rosewood gate – it was a small design feature which serves a functional purpose but is equally beautiful,” says Joanne. Custom fibreglass planters in Dulux Monument are a key garden detail, and they work to frame the entertaining space.
The plant palette includes a classic mix of resilient exotics including palms, azalea, rain lily, Chinese star jasmine and camellia. “Our client had specifically requested a plant that would add colour and something she could pick, so the camellia delivered this perfectly,” says Joanne.
Clever lighting choices serve to highlight the garden at night – there’s a mix of overhead, wall, step, barbeque and garden. “Lighting is often something people overlook in a design but is an important element especially for those wanting to enjoy Sydney’s warm evenings outdoors,” says Joanne.
Overall, Joanne and her client are very happy with the new garden area that is set to be put to good use over the holiday season. “It wasn’t until the client had arranged the furniture that I thought, it reminded me of the south of France. It was the combination of colours, the striped awnings, lush palms and perhaps the ‘apartment near the ocean’ locale that evoked these feelings. I love it, and I know our client is very pleased.”
Photography: Nicholas Watt