This residential garden was designed at the beginning of 2017 and built later that year, to complete the property’s brand new modern extension.
The owners had acquired some beautiful, large sandstone boulders from offsite to be used in the new landscape and these and the existing Eucalyptus in the rear neighbours garden informed the the overall design.

In the image below you can see the Eucalyptus and how the view to the rear is a celebration of this stunning tree.

A large dropped lawn area was centred off the rear of the new extension and surrounded by garden beds behind a curved retaining wall.

Crushed decomposed granite Deco gold was used for the pathways and side access from the street, it also leads the way to the quiet area at the rear of the garden right at the back.

The planting design for this garden was full of silvers, greys and deep greens to achieve a relaxed modern coastal look with plenty of foliage contrast. The large bank of Chrysocephalum apiculatum, in the centre of the  image below, flowers for most of the year and has been one of the quickest native species become established. Chrysocephalum apiculatum is also great at attracting insects, butterflies and hence birds to a garden.

We made use of another borrowed to the north, in the image above you can see the neighbours trees two doors down. In the foreground are Anigozanthos ‘Landscape Lilac’ standing up straight and tall almost to the fence height, along with screening from Leptospermums.

The internal courtyard on the northside is home to Xanthorrhoea johnsonii and Correa alba, which both enjoy a partly shaded sheltered position.

The extension is quite striking in its form and scale and the garden has established quickly to soften its edges.

The combination of the Leucophyta brownii with the deco gravel gives a distinctly coastal feel, don’t you think?

Over time the new build will be wrapped in screening foliage on all sides and feel quite seperate from the suburban street. It really is a haven where the garden has been considered early on, in conjunction with the building, ensuring they work together on the site.

Photos courtesy of  Fig Landscapes who built the garden.


26 responses to “Portfolio: Woolooware Garden Design”

  1. Megan

    Hey I was just wondering what fence colour you used?

    Would be a great help, cheers Megan

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Megan,

      It would be something like a Charcoal, just be careful when painting your fences dark colours that there isn’t going to be any plants in front of them which are will be affected by the radiant heat.

      Best Wishes,

  2. Laurren

    What a beautiful garden!! I LOVE it. I’m in the processing of planning our native garden up here on Qld’s Sunshine Coast and wondered if you can tell me what variety of pigface you’ve used as the ground cover that sprawls over the rocks and also the different grasses you’ve used? Thank you kindly 🙂

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Lauren,

      The native grasses used in this garden are Carex appressa, Lomandra ‘Tanika’ and Ficinia nodosa, hope this info helps,


    2. Kath Gadd

      Hi again!

      The pig face is just regular Carpobrotus glaucescens,



      1. Lisa Taylor

        Hi, love the garden. I am just wondering what the ground cover is with the yellow flowers. Thanks Lisa

        1. Kath Gadd

          Thanks Lisa,

          The ground cover is Chrysocephalum apiculatum or commonly known as Yellow Buttons.

          Best Wishes,


      2. Dominica Chodorowski

        Hi just wondering what the gravel used here is?

        1. Kath Gadd

          Hi Domonica,
          The gravel is crushed ‘Deco Gold’ Granite,
          Best Wishes,


  3. Hi

    I love the planting palette in this garden. is it possible to get a copy of the plan shown in your blog at a larger size to have a look at the palette in more detail?


  4. Nadia

    I just love this backyard. I keep coming back to it. THe blues, greens, boulders, texture combinations….. all mingling together, telling one story. I love everything about it.
    Well done.

  5. Matt

    I was just wondering what small trees you used between the path and along the fence.
    It looks great!

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Matt,

      The trees which have been planted along the fence line are Banksia integrifolia and Waterhousia floribunda ‘Sweeper, I wouldn’t describe them as ‘small’ trees as they will both reach at least 10 metres tall. They were a substitute made by the Landscaper.

      Hope this info helps,



      1. Prue

        Hi Kath,

        I absolutely LOVE your gardens 💚 I am considering planting a row of 3 Banksia integrifolia along the side of our house. Would you mind telling me how far apart you spaced yours in this garden?

        Many thanks,


        1. Prue

          P.S I’m having trouble deciding between Banksia integrifolia and marginata, what would your preference be please (ideally I don’t want them growing much taller than 5m). Thanks X

          1. Kath Gadd

            Hi Prue,

            I would plant Banksia marginata, depending on whereabouts you live? The distance apart you plant them will depend on the effect you are trying to get, is it for a continuous dense screen? or as feature trees?
            Did you know there is a dwarf form of marginata? it gets to about 2 metres high it is called Banksia marginata ‘Bright’.
            You might also like to consider Banksia ‘Sentinel’ which is part Banksia integrifolia and could be pruned to shape like a small coast banksia tree and will only get to 3 or 4 metres.

            Best Wishes,


          2. Prue

            Hi Kath,

            Thanks so much for your reply. We live near Warrandyte, east of Melbourne, on half an acre. I am after a screen effect as our house is elevated and our large living room windows are approx 3-4m above street level. I have a couple of Sentinel, which I love, but I don’t think they’re quite big enough for this spot unfortunately.

            Thanks again,


          3. Kath Gadd

            Hi Prue,

            I would definitely use the Banksia marginata if you are in Victoria, it is such a lovely small tree, much more compact than integrifolia.

            Happy Gardening!


  6. Kirsty Argyle

    Hi I love this garden!
    I’m trying to find plants that are going to grow between rocks and on a steep slope. Literally tucked in the gaps to help hold the soil back. Can you please tell me what that green creeping plant is around the sandstone rock boulders facing the lawn? I don’t think it’s the Casurina ‘Cousin It’? the shape of the leaf looks different? But maybe it is! Thank you.

  7. Kath Gadd

    Hi Kirsty,

    There is a mixture of Casuarina ‘Cousin It’ which is the finest leaf, then Myoporum parvifolium with a medium sized leaf then Carpobrotus glaucescens has the chunky leaf.
    You might also like to consider:
    Goodenia ovata Prostrate
    Olearia lanuginosa
    Eremophila ‘Kalbarri Carpet’

    Hope this info helps,

    Best wishes,


  8. Kelly McDowall

    Hi Kath, I live down the south coast in Bermagui. I am having a go at designing my garden at 3 Mill Street. I absolutely love the Woolaware garden!! I am also loving your website and all your posts, thank you!
    On the western side of the house there will be a 2.5-3.0 metre gap between house and fence. I have spoken to my local nursery person about using a combination of Banksia Sentinel, Agnois Flexuosa, Grevillea and a Callistermon along the western fence. He has advised me that I would need plant them 2 metres (and 2.5 m apart) off the fence. I don’t understand because in the Woolaware photos it looks to me that the landscaper has planted trees right on the fence? Any thoughts? Cheers Kelly

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Kelly,

      As long as you are planting the dwarf forms of the above species they should be fine to plant 700mm to 1metre from the fence. Perhaps the nursery person didn’t realise you were planting shrub forms?
      The landscaper on the Woolaware job has planted the Waterhousia and Banksia too close to the fence as neither species are the dwarf form and they will cause problems in the future.
      If you are planning a continuous mixed screen and are going to prune everything together to make it more dense then you can plant them closer together than 2.5 metres. Just check the tags and figure out their entire width before spacing them out.



  9. Kelly McDowall

    Hi Kath, I love your website and articles!! thank you for sharing, I am learning lots about native plants and trees. I am creating a garden in Bermagui NSW 2546. I love the coastal feel of your Woolaware project – silvers, greys and deep greens. I am going to use the Agnois Flexuosa, Grevillea Dorothy gordon, Callistermon candelbra and Acacia lime majik. A local nursery advised against the Agnois Flexuosa Burgundy because it can get Myrtle Rust? What do you think? Do you have a suggestion for a substitute please? thanks Kelly

  10. Amelia

    Hi love the look and feel of this landscape, wondering how big the entire yard is? I’m in the process of planning our backyard and finding it hard to imagine depth of planting/how many plants I need for the space I have.

  11. Jay

    Hi Kath,
    I have been eyeing off this beautiful garden on Pinterest for a while now. I was wondering whether you would recommend any of these plants for the climate in Adelaide. We get cold frosty winters and dry hot summers. I am trialling a few plants with varied success. 1 of my Cousin Its sadly died, the other is clinging to life etc. Is there any particular fertiliser that you would suggest for natives as well?
    Hope you don’t mind me picking your brain!

    1. Kath Gadd

      Hi Jay,

      The Leucophyta brownii and Banksia integrifolia should work as should the Carpobrotus, I use Osmocote slow release for natives.

      Happy Gardening,


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