Landscaping Sydney

In over 24 years of landscaping Sydney properties – having made over 1000 gardens – I can say that, overall, it has been a golden period for garden making in Australia.

Landscaping today is not about following fads and playing it safe - instead it is about gardens which are as diverse as they are inspired.  The range of gardens being created by modern, sophisticated Sydneysiders in 2019 is broader than ever, with aspects from different periods and locations woven into personal sanctuaries which reflect our individual lifestyles.

Given this diversity, is there really such a thing as an ‘Australian’ style of landscaping anymore, and how does that apply when we're landscaping Sydney?

We believe there are common threads.  Despite our different spaces, objectives and budgets, there are seven key aspects that Michael has identified from a lifetime of building gardens.

landscaping Sydney

Landscaping Sydney Trends

Architecture and landscape are seen as one.

When an architect, interior designer and landscaper work together to create and style a property, an incredible feeling of continuity and cohesion is achieved.  Thoughtful, complimentary use of materials is integral.  So too is a collaborative culture between key stakeholders, which ensures decisions are made which consider the final look of both home and garden.

There is a seamless transition between inside and outside.

More easily accomplished in modern homes with their open plan, glass-walled designs, a seamless transition between inside and outside has been on the top of our client's wish lists for years and is almost always desirable when landscaping Sydney properties.

Outdoor rooms go well beyond the barbecue area.

In the New Australian Garden, anything which can be done inside can also be done outside.  Like to cook a three-course meal, entertain friends, shower, sleep, listen to music – even work – outside?  Anything is possible.  Separating a garden into ‘rooms’ or areas for a particular purpose is the key, and connecting these rooms so that they flow throughout.

The garden is set in motion through kids, dogs, water, wind, light and flames.

A static garden is a contradiction in terms.  Creating movement in your garden by adding a water feature, fire-pit or skate ramp gives vitality to any outdoor space and draws you into the garden throughout all seasons.  Landscaping Sydney means creating a garden which reflects our desire to live in a growing, dynamic habitat.

There is a regard for the context and heritage of the site.

Despite being a young country in terms of European settlement, Australians have a strong respect and reverence for our heritage.  Preserving, enhancing and celebrating historical elements of any site is the preference of most property owners.  For this reason, we often use reclaimed material from previous incarnations of a space we’re working in when we craft the new garden.

The garden features an abundant supply of plants from all over the world.

Landscaping Sydney when it comes to plants is all about the mash-up.  Modern Australians want to do things which are fresh and new creating original combinations - the rules are, there are no rules.

There is an acceptance of individual style, where anything goes.

Clients we work with often fall in love with an aesthetic which for them represents a wonderful experience or ambiance they experienced while on holidays.  They’re driven to recreate this time and place in their gardens at home, and we love to help them do this.


This is an edited extract from Michael Bates' book, The New Australian Garden.  For more information, visit our publisher's website at Murdoch Books.

landscaping Sydney
Landscaping Sydney