Design and Build
Brief: We were absolutely delighted to be approached by Jacob & Willie early in 2009 with the challenge of turning this once neglected but sheltered back yard into ‘The Secret Garden’, a tropical inspired sanctuary where they could showcase garden art and collectibles and offer a venue where individuals or groups could ‘escape from everyday life’.
The first step toward helping our client turn this dream into reality was to formulate a plan which blended elements of design and sustainability with the function and practicality that they required to make the space multi purpose. It was intended to be, not only a place of business but, as it was open to the public, also a pleasant space to be enjoyed by all. The plan blueprint was established through constant communication and draft plans that were reworked and ‘tweaked’ until the clients felt 100% confident to proceed. Recycled and natural materials were high on the priority list and so locally sourced bamboo and rocks were some of the main mediums used in construction.
The overgrown plot that is now ‘The Secret Garden’ was at one time used as a vegetable & fruit garden by previous residents but in recent times became a space for burning rubbish and storing unwanted items. And so it was when work commenced that the initial clean-up uncovered many hidden surprises in the undergrowth. Most of the existing trees however were able to be pruned back and preserved as site clearing, then construction, forged ahead. This allowed the local resident bird life to remain, often as curious & friendly onlookers! Extra high fencing enclosed the area even more and with truckloads of compost and mulch brought in to the benefit the plants it was up to nature to do the rest.
6 months after completion and the sheltered aspect of this site is proving to be the catalyst for a truly sub tropical microclimate with all plants flourishing and trees fruiting at a rate far quicker than expected. The venue has already hosted many functions and the atmosphere has been everything the clients wanted it to be.