A residential garden in Toowoomba, Queensland has undergone a radical transformation thanks to the help of landscape architecture firm JW Concepts.

The majority of the project was completed in 2009, however, there are still some parts that are on-going. The client commissioned JW Concepts to work closely with the architect and builder on the project.

The design brief was to create a modern family space that allowed outdoor recreating on the expansive deck spaces overlooking the Toowoomba range and Lockyer valley to the east. The rear garden space is kept simple and open for the kids to play active sports as they grow, and will be staged to include overall landscape masterplan inclusions in time. The house and garden also had to blend with the existing heritage listed bluestone wall upon which the house block was situated.

The garden design is a contemporary take on the gardenesque style of gardens often designed in Toowoomba that tend to be more formal in layout. The flow of spaces connecting the expansive outdoor decks was kept simple to help draw the eye out over the expansive borrowed landscape of the Toowoomba range to the north and north east, and Lockyer Valley to the east.

Small micro-climate spaces have been created to help combine a bold selection of plantings in Toowoomba that do not traditionally thrive (including Allocasia brisbanensis ) while incorporating some more traditional Toowoomba style gardenesque plantings such as roses and camellias.

The key feature of the project is the integrated reflection pond to the house entry, incorporating a simple and modern arbour structure that helps create depth and definition through the play with light and shadow throughout the course of the day. The accentuated length of reflection pond helps draw your vision out past the concealed courtyard plantings inside the entry gates out to the expansive borrowed views over the Lockyer valley to the east.

The reflection pond also helps keep the ground/sky connection that dominated on top of the Toowoomba range by bringing the reflected blue sky onto ground entry level as you enter the building. Simple lighting at also creates an intimate courtyard with dappled light from the pond at night that helps the house feel like it is floating over the water.

Careful placement of screen plantings above the retained historic bluestone wall create a private retreat overlooking the borrowed landscape of the Great Dividing Range and valleys beyond.

The private but very simple entry courtyard teams up Xanthorrhea glauca (grass tree) and Ginko biloba in an effort to create old yet simple interest throughout the year. The changing colours of the ginko and the thick shade provided by the vegetation in summer help reinforce the changing of the seasons throughout the house as it is also seen from the family entertaining and kitchen spaces.

The substantial Xanthorrhea and Dracaena draco specimens provide a bold contrast to the traditional temperate gardens Toowoomba is well known for, whilst also balancing striking natural feature elements that complement the scale and local setting where the home is situated.


JW Concepts
Ph: 07 3856 0233

Project Particulars:

Architect: ELI Architects
Landscape Contractors: Landscape Resources
Grass Tree Supply: Station Creek Tree Farm
Dragon Tree Supply: Draco Design
Pool Builders: McNab Constructions

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