I always knew I wanted garden space within my dream home, not just around the outsides. Garden glimpses from every room! I’ve crushed on coastal courtyard gardens in Byron Bay and Bali for years - I can’t get enough of Bangalow palms and Frangipanis. So, internal courtyards were always integral to my dream home design. And a crash hot landscape designer to help me envision them didn’t go amiss either!

Landscape designers are awesome. Don’t be afraid to get some help to plan your perfect garden. It’s worth investing a few pretty pennies to build the right plan from the start. I worked with landscape queen extraordinaire, Mon Palmer, for my dream home and it’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

We’ve long been fans of Mon. Her gardens are next level #likeamazeballs. And she’s like a garden design oracle.


What’s your philosophy for the ideal garden space? 

I believe an outdoor space should connect with the home and feel like it was always meant to be. It should make you feel calm and grounded and be a space that keeps getting better with age. 

What are your favourite garden go-tos when it comes to the ‘look and feel’? 

I love anything coming out of California – Joshua Tree, Palm Springs and LA. Think palms, cacti, black steel, concrete and white walls. 

A mistake people should avoid making in the garden? 

Don’t make your fences a feature, especially by contrasting the border frame with a different colour. Stick to dark grey or black, no cream, and plant out in front of them. The only time you make a fence a feature is when it is purposefully meant to be, like a timber clad, stone or cement dado wall. 


What would you say are the 5 most important elements to a garden? 

1. Complementary to the architecture of the house and interiors. Your garden should be an extension of your home so the style and design should be reflective of this to make the indoor and outdoor spaces feel as one. 

2. Overscale. A different scale is to be used outdoors. Think low, wide seating and oversized pots. It allows for relaxed living and a feeling of generosity. 

3. Plante en masse. Grouping your plants creates easiness on the eyes, resulting in a feeling of calm. For example, plant a row of one species of hedge along a boundary as your backdrop, as opposed to alternating different plants. 

4. Use natural materials in their raw form. This allows for understated design, which will stand the test of time. Natural lawn, natural stone and natural timber are also cooler underfoot and cooler for the home than synthetic versions. 

5. Garden lighting. This is one of my all-time favourite elements in a garden. It allows for the outdoor space to be used after the sun goes down and it’s always such a pleasure to view your garden at night from the home. I love turning off all the indoor lights and just let the glow of the garden light the house at night. 

To learn more about how to design your own glorious garden, sign up to The Reno School – next course starts 2nd July -  click here to find out more.