A Generous Coastal Garden


Large residential sites provide the opportunity to create expansive gardens that not only benefit residents, but the wider community. 

This garden project in Mollymook, on the NSW South Coast, is one example. Located on a site formerly occupied by four houses, the property features an exceptionally wide and deep street frontage, allowing space for a generous garden. On top of that, the accompanying house is oriented away from the street towards the ocean in the east, thereby affording the owners privacy, without the need for a fence around the west-facing garden. ‘This presented a fantastic landscape opportunity, as the garden was not interrupted by a physical barrier,’ says William Dangar, founding director of landscape practice Dangar Barin Smith. ‘The front door is also discreetly positioned within the arrangement, which negated the need for a front fence.’

The original brief from the client was to create a tropical garden to complement the expansive resort-like home by MCK Architects. With the guidance of Dangar Barin Smith however, this morphed into a coastal-style garden with large leafed plants and palms. ‘The garden is a lush, layered composition of exotic plants that blend into the native surrounds,’ says William. ‘The frontage of the property is very deep, so texture, foliage form and colour were important to reward the street elevation.’

One of the garden’s most striking elements are the giant granite boulders inserted throughout the landscape. ‘They were positioned on both sides of the site, and are an unusual yet subtle feature,’ says William. These boulders, paired with large tree aloes, give the impression of a mature garden, despite this being an entirely new build. The plant palette also includes mature strelitzia, frangipani and kentia palms. 

The success of this project is evident in its popularity, having become somewhat of a tourist attraction in the coastal town. ‘What amazes me about this project is how it connects to both the locals and the tourist community. It has become by default a tourist attraction to the town,’ says William. ‘Every time I visit there is alway a few people stopped out the front taking it all in.’



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