Kew Sanctuary

The brief for our Kew Sanctuary garden was to modernise it while staying true to the era of the house. Our clients wanted us to incorporate the existing screening trees for privacy, create a more aesthetic and functional space on the south side of the property, create space for a lawn and planting and, of course, outdoor entertaining. While our design team had limited space to work with, we believe the final result has ticked all the boxes.

When opening the gate to the front of the property, we wanted to create a space where people would want to wander around the garden. On the left is a bluestone stepper walkway flanked with Poa labillardieri ‘Eskdale’, which creates a lush, windswept finish. To the right is a lawn, and as there isn’t one in the rear, we wanted to maximise the lawn as much as possible in the front garden. To border the lawn, we opted for a simple planting palette that softens the lawn’s edges and the front verandah.

Moving through to the side of the property is a gravel garden, which is canopied by beautiful Pyrus calleryana trees. As this section of the garden is heavily shaded, the gravel garden is the perfect spot for a fire pit, straightforward entry to the garage, and a space for shade-loving plants to grow. We also built floating ‘blackbutt’ timber deck steps so our clients could sit on them with their friends and family while enjoying the warmth of the fire.

The rear garden is all about entertaining. We constructed an open steel pergola that Wisteria floribunda ‘Alba’ will eventually creep over, creating a living pergola and spot for shade on warm summer days.

To conceal the garage wall, we installed timber battens to create a backdrop for the inbuilt BBQ. The textures of the concrete bench, timber battens, bluestone pavers and the soft foliage of the pleached Ficus hillii hedge all work together to create a cohesive look repeated throughout the landscape. We underplanted the Ficus hedge with Trachelospermum asiaticum and mass-planted Poa labillardieri ‘Eskdale’ around the side rear garden to mirror the front garden design and compensate for the lack of lawn in the rear.

While we only completed the build of Kew Sanctuary two years ago, it is already thriving and will undoubtedly become a show-stopper in the years to come.

Plant Selection

    • Ajuga 'Tuff n Tidy'
    • Buxus spheres
    • Ficus hillii 'Flash' pleached hedge
    • Ginkgo biloba
    • Helleborus 'Molly's White'
    • Iris tectorum 'Alba'
    • Lagerstroemia 'Natchez'
    • Liriope 'Royal Purple'
    • Poa labillardieri 'Eskdale'
    • Pratia penductula
    • Wisteria floribunda 'Alba'

Hardscape Specification

    • Black open steel pergola
    • Blackbutt timber slat screen
    • Floating blackbutt timber deck steps
    • Sawn bluestone paved steppers
    • Sawn bluestone rounded steppers
Design by - Ian Barker Garden Design
Constructed by - Ian Barker Landscapes
Photography by - Holly Hawkins
Maintenance by - Ian Barker Gardens