A Hospital garden blitz team has transformed an atrium for cancer patients at the SAN (Sydney Adventist Hospital) in Wahroonga.

TV landscape guru Matt Leacy, with a team of volunteers, recreated his Domestic Blitz series years in a renovation rescue of the atrium.

Matt Leacy, founder of Landart Landscapes, said the team was excited “to make the day-to-day environment of patients and their families a little brighter as they experience some very tough times”.

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Having a small & narrow block doesn’t mean sacrificing on the design and feel of your landscape and pool. Access is often tricky on a block of this size. If you can’t get a small machine in, there are other options such as conveyor belts or the like that can help achieve an outcome. Clever positioning & working with existing landscape elements, such as this palm (featured in images), can create interest & provide scale to the project. Believe it or not, an oversized feature can often make a space seem larger than it really is.

 

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We’re really excited about working on this site and transforming this garden for our client in Turramurra.

Here’s a little time-lapse of a day on our construction site below.

Adding privacy and a beautiful focal point in a garden design, feature walls are gaining popularity as more outdoor living rooms are created to suit our appetite for alfresco living.

“We are getting more ­requests for outdoor living rooms and the need for more privacy with feature walls,’’ Matt Leacy, landscape ­designer of Landart Landscapes and president of the National Master Landscapes Association, says.

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Inside Out article Matt talks about the design elements of our Northern Beaches garden. View article

House and Garden article Matt talks about the design elements of our Sandringham garden. View article

Latest edition of the Daily Telegraph Home Magazine Matt shares some tips for growing a vegie garden View article

In this edition of House & Garden magazine Matt talks about our Award Winning design in Castle Cove.
View article

In this edition of House & Garden magazine Matt talks in detail about the design of our Balgowlah Heights garden and swimming pool
View article

AILDM national awards night was fantastic on Friday night. We are feeling very proud and honoured to have won a ‘Best in category’ a ‘Gold’ and a ‘Silver’. We are all lucky to be a part of such a strong and vibrant team. Looking forward to what we can do in the future.

Landart are looking for talented, experienced tradespeople to join our vibrant team and be involved in creating more beautiful outdoor spaces.
We are also about to start on our recruitment drive to offer Apprenticeships to those who would like to become qualified tradespeople.
If you know of someone looking to take the next step up in their career, or just starting out, let them know we would like to talk with them and see if they are up for the challenge.

Call Andrew on (02) 9958 0462

Do you have a small entertaining space? Small of course is relative to the owners and the way a space functions. If there is not quite enough room as you would like on the servery in your entertaining area. Then consider storing your BBQ beneath it out of sight. That way you only bring it in to view when it is needed which creates less clutter and maximises the bench space at other times. A cleaner and all round more streamline look.

Matt shares his tips for a cost effective and easy garden.
Check it out on The Home Journal Blog.

Matt shares his tips for creating a low-cost and sustainable garden above street level in the Habitus Living blog.

The Landscape New South Wales and ACT Christmas party was held at the beautiful Customs House this year at Circular Quay. It was an entertaining evening hosted by Alpine Nurseries. The guests raised a considerable amount of money for ‘The Heartkids Foundation’ and had a fantastic time doing it. Matt Leacy from Landart hosted the formalities again this year, with Ron Berkelmans and Peter Knox giving great talks. The night and the venue keeps getting better each year! Can’t wait to see what is planned for next year.

We are proud of our garden featured in this month’s issue of House and Garden. So much thought and effort goes into a project like this. It is nice to see it shared. Thanks House and garden! View article

Matt has written some tips on creating gardens that are both edible and beautiful for the end of year party season, and Christmas Day celebrations. Whether it’s a simple get-together with friends, or a joyous banquet with the whole family, Matt has come up with these smart and easy gardening ideas to help your garden produce edible and decorative props to be enjoyed over the coming months.
Enjoy reading it in The Home Journal

Landart Landscapes was honoured to be a part of this year’s annual Spring Heartkids Foundation garden tour. Approximately 125 guests raised $25,000 for HeartKids, a charity which raises funds into the
causes of Heart Disease and offers support to families of children with Heart Disease. Alpine organised the garden tour with great support from the staff at HeartKids NSW.
Landart’s Terrey Hills garden featured at the end of the day and guests were able to enjoy some bubbly whilst taking in the amazing views. Thank you to our very generous clients for opening their home.

The Swimming Pools (Amendment) Act 2012 will come into effect with the coming swim season, and Matt Leacy has some tips for both existing and future home pool owners to keep pools compliant and safe on The Home Journal blog. A must read if you own a pool!

A garden we designed in Manly has won a national award for design from AILDM (The Australian Institute of Landscape Designers and Managers). Thank you very much to the adventurous owners of the property who could see outside the normal and to AILDM for the award!

Landart are honoured to be listed in the Australian House & Garden magazines – ‘Best of The Best Landscape Specialists’. H&G reputable little black! Thank you for the honour H&G.

Landart Landscapes along with Jim Fogarty have won a medal at the recent Australian Garden Show in Sydney. The inaugural event had many great show gardens. The ‘Gallipoli Garden’ designed by Jim Fogarty was inspired by the poem ‘The last to leave’ by Leon Gellert. Landart Landscapes had the honour of being approached by Jim Fogarty to build his design to commemorate the evacuation of Gallipoli. Well done to Jim and the team.

We met some amazing creative people last week at Sydney InDesign. It was great to work with Habitus Living magazine to develop a space that people could come to enjoy a business meeting, sit and reflect on the exhibition, or simply relax with a drink and enjoy the atmosphere. Our garden also hosted the successful book launch of Dr Paul McGillick ‘The Sustainable Asian House’. Followed by some tunes from Tony Edwards.
Thank you to ALPINE Nurseries for supplying the 1500 or so plants – some of which were over 6m in height – they made the space. Thank you also to Hardware and General, Gardens at Night, Classique and Gardenlife for the product you supplied. It all came together beautifully.
It was really great to chat with everyone who came to the event. Thank you so much for making the effort!
“Photographs by David Curzon www.dcpd.com.au”

Easy Greenwalls

One of the most inspiring new products of the last few years would have to be greenwalls. Encouragingly they seem to be popping up everywhere, with most new developments incorporating some form of vertical garden as either a major installation or an alternative to the pas ‘feature wall’.

Increasing the amount of greenspace around us can only be a good thing, with many of us aspiring to some form of vertical garden in our homes. Though it’s easy to be discouraged by expensive systems, concerns over watering/drainage or simply an apprehension of the new.

Greenwalls needn’t be an arduous enterprise, but rather a quick project achieved with readily found objects or items you may already have. One of the easiest ways to achieve the look of a vertical garden is with hanging a section of cyclone fence and growing a vigourous vine such as Trachelospermum jasmineoides or Hedera canariensis up it, then spot planting with “air plants” like Tillandsia. Another is to staple some carpet underlay to a board, cut pockets, fill with potting mix & plant your preferred species. The plants will fill out over time and cover the underlay, which also holds moisture quite well.

70’s design is also very chic’ at the moment, and a retro style hanging garden is a cheap & easy way to accomplish a ‘vertical garden’ using spillover species donated from nan’s garden. Even a collection of pots attached to a wall or on a shelf opposite a window may be all the “green wall” you need.

If however the specific look of a modular green wall is what you’re after, there are plenty of cost effective & easy DIY projects fond online. These incorporate recycling or “up-cycling” common household items such as PET bottles, chicken wire or plastic stormwater pipe. So not only can you achieve an amazing greenwall yourself next weekend, but you can tap into your inner greenie that longs to pontificate about “up-cycling” at your next dinner party.

Great greenwall species

Trachelospermum asiaticum, Hedera canariensis, Dichondra ‘Emerald Falls’, Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ , Casuarina glauca cousin it, Erigeron karvinskianus, Convolvulus mauritanicus, Convolvulus sabatius, Lampranthus spectabilis & Sedum spp.

No matter the size of your garden, weather a ¼ acre block, acreage, inner city terrace or a balcony a well planted and thoughtfully selected and placed pot can become a great piece in the garden.

Oversize pots allow you to combine plants to make miniature landscapes within the broader garden context. I combined my love of succulents, limited budget and desire for some contrast in a formal setting to create this simple but effective feature pot at the entrance to my home.

The blue colours of different shaped and sized leaves contrast with the charcoal coloured pot and make me smile every time I walk past it. It has helped me to share my succulents with family and friends as I am constantly picking pieces off to share with them as well.

The Landart team has recently completed works for the opening of the refurbished Marlborough hotel in Newtown involving both our Design and Construct teams.

Amongst the overall design, some of the standout features installed included hanging macrame pots inside the hotel which included Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) and steel troughs planted with Sansevieria (Mother-in-law’s tongue). All these make for a great new atmosphere .

If you look hard enough you might be able to spot John Singleton and our very own world famous Matt Leacy.

The Great Outdoor Kitchen!

The humble barbecue has morphed into something much more sophisticated.

Rolling Stone Landscapes designs ensure the cook is part of the action. The sun is shining, the temperature is up and it’s time to kick back for some serious summer rest and relaxation. For most of us, enjoying the great Aussie backyard would not be complete without the chance to throw something on the barbie and knock back a cool beverage.

But while eating outdoors is practically part of Australia’s national DNA, in recent years it has evolved into a full open-air kitchen experience.

Game Changer

Matt Leacy, landscape designer and director of Landart Landscapes, says the outdoor kitchen is changing the way people live.

Everyone that we have installed for has said that it is a complete lifestyle change Matt says.

It’s not just the garden anymore, it has changed how they use their property and it gets people outside and involved in the garden. Far from being a fad, Matt says up to 80 per cent of his clients want an outdoor kitchen that is integrated into an outdoor living and dining room that may include a pool and low-maintenance landscaping.

And while the traditional barbecue set-up has always involved one or two people, often blokes, standing with their backs turned to guests, outdoor kitchens have gone the way of their indoor counterparts where the cook is part of the action.

One person is still controlling the barbecue but everyone is sitting around having a chat, Matt says.

We are doing a lot of T-shaped benches where we have the barbecue at the end of the T and then there is a long bench so you can get a lot more people sitting around to eat.

Landscape designer and managing director of Rolling Stone Landscapes, Dean Herald, agrees that outdoor kitchens have evolved from isolating the cook to making the cook a central part of the action.

I like to do island benches as much as possible because it makes the cooking experience more interactive, he says.

If you can turn the chef around, you can put stools on the other side and it becomes a servery as well. I have one and it works really well.

An alfresco advantage

Cherelle Freeman (pictured with landscaper Matt Leacy) says it is no exaggeration to say that her new outdoor kitchen has changed her family’s life.

When they bought their Mosman home more than five years ago, she says the backyard was non existent and ugly, so they put in a simple deck.

When that didn’t work, they installed a beautiful in-ground pool complete with glass pool fence.

But it still did not look right, she says. Finally, she called in director of Landart Landscapes Matt Leacy to design an outdoor living room with cooking facilities.

I can’t tell you how it has transformed the space, Cherelle says. We never spent any time out there but since it was finished in September we are always using it.

We cook breakfast out there all the time whereas before, we would just use the pool and come back inside.

Matt’s company designed and installed an integrated barbecue with concrete benchtop and under bench storage to work with the streamlined deck that runs under the pool fencing, which hides the pool filter. The roots of a mature ficus tree have been complemented by a simple low maintenance planting scheme while timber steps lead up into the rest of the compact garden.

Cherelle says the new outdoor kitchen has made her home a popular destination with family members who live out of town.

All our family live outside Sydney and they’ve all been down and we eat outside all the time, she says.

My husband’s parents were down a couple of weeks ago and we didn’t eat a single meal inside. I think of it as part of the house now, another room.

The recent heatwave conditions we have all experienced in our gardens made me have a good look at what has coped and what has suffered in my own patch. A long time admirer of succulents I was surprised at how well the Blue Chalksticks survived the dry, heat wave conditions and still manage to look great.

Senecio serpens are a tough, hardy, groundcovering succulent native to southern Africa. Growing to a height of between 15-30cm high and spreading to between 50-100cm in diameter, they are a great plant for rockeries, containers and as foliage contrast. They are drought tolerant but frost sensitive and look best if watered occasionally and tip pruned after flowering to maintain density of foliage.

We use them as a design tool for reliable contrasting texture and colour and to encourage people to take another look as the leaves look like blue beans!

Alpine Nurseries put on an amazing display for the 2012 LNA Christmas party at the Powerhouse museum. It was quite surreal sharing stories and drinks whilst standing amongst an old steam train and vintage planes. Our Matt Leacy announced the formalities for the evening and it seemed everybody enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Well done Alpine and the LNA!

I Recently went to New York on holidays and had the opportunity to visit The High Line (something I’ve wanted to see for a few years now). The High Line used to be a railway on the West Side of New York for freight trains. Abandoned in the 80’s, planning began In the 2000’s to reclaim The High Line as a park. By 2006 construction had started and was completed in 2009.

Walking The High Line in New York was an amazing experience and an excellent example of original design.

The 2012 October What’s Hot Spring edition of Burke’s Backyard magazine is out now & Landart Landscapes coastal garden is the cover story.

Welcome to Landart’s news! We will be taking the time to keep you updated with some of the cool things going on with outdoor living including updates on the projects we are currently working on. To give you a taste here is a rooftop balcony in Elizabeth bay that we have just completed. bring on the warmer months, wasting the days lounging in the curved deck looking out over the water.

Jacaranda AKA Jacaranda mimosifolia

A great colorful deciduous tree from South America, Purple-blue flowers now, flowering right now and very hardy. Often planted with Illawarra Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius) as they flower at the same time and create a great contrast.