The client wanted to create a quiet haven for her to relax in. The space needed to be serene and nature abundant in plants, birds and butterflies.

The space needed to be more functional and useable than it was by extending the living space further than the under cover patio area.

Sophistication and upmarket finishes were to compliment the newly decorated interior of the house and to enhance the landscape by creating a feel of luxury without indulgence.

Click on the buttons below below to see what the area looked like prior to design and implementation.



The garden was overcrowded with tropical plants, pavers and mondo grass. The planting scheme had long outgrown its own shape and the soil level had dropped so dramatically that there was a major difference in levels between the pool tiling and the garden pavers.

Ugly retaining blocks had been used to hold back soil against the boundary walls when the property had been originally cut into the landscape for building purposes.

Spaces beneath the tropical plants were bare of plants and instead were covered with river pebbles, and the soil was lacking in nutrients.

Style Guide

The client wanted more of her personal taste and style in the garden rather than the previous owners.

The style was to be a mixture of french colonial and english gardens. The form and structure of the french colonial gardens represented the formality and male aspect of the garden, whilst the flowery english garden represented the informality and female aspects for the landscape.

Natural materials, neutral colours and aromatics plants were imperative in making this style meet with the client taste.


The 3 separate areas of the client's property were designed to have slightly different feels to them.

The same design considerations were used for all areas to keep the flow of physical elements continuous, but each had a focal point item or two of individuality.

The exterior living space was expanded and enclosed for intimacy by clever use of a surround pergola.

Effective use of lines and structure were incorporated into this exterior space in duality, without the use of obvious symmetry.


  • Removal of most plants
  • Clay soil removal
  • Excavation for foundations
  • Retaining walls
  • Plastering and painting
  • Soil fill in
  • Decking
  • Pergola installation
  • Planting and irrigation
  • Water feature and mosaic backdrop
  • Braai facility
  • Work bench
  • Electrical and lighting
  • Drainage
  • Building work - Client's Contractor
  • Decking and Pergola - Master Decks
  • Lighting - A+ Renovations
  • Landscaping - Living Matter
  • Final Photographs - ishoot photography
  • Designed and Project Managed - Living Matter

    Project completed in 5 months

    See our Partners page for implementation partner contact details


The entire project raised the quality of sophistication in this garden to another level. The exterior living space, the finishes and fittings tie perfectly into the interior of the house. Colours compliment the wood used, and plants just finish off the entire area.

Curved walls, the sound of water from water features, ambient lighting and the serene personality of the client merge into creating a homely environment to relax and enjoy either alone or in the company of friends.