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Tips for getting your outdoor area summer ready

Harrison’s Landscaping is a Sydney-based landscape design and construction company that specialises in the high-end residential projects. Established by Josh Harrison in 2006, they offer end-to-end services including garden and pool design, development, construction and maintenance. With summer drawing near, Josh shared with us some of his expert tips on what to consider in the design of your outdoor area.

Keywords:

  • swimming pool, garden design, landscaping, scyon, outdoor

Outdoor Area Inspiration with Josh Harrison of Harrison’s Landscaping

ABOUT HARRISON’S LANDSCAPING:  

Harrisons has been running for ten years this December. We are a team of about 20 spread over three divisions: design, construction and maintenance. Typically we install our own designs. So we are responsible for the initial concept, getting the job through council, engaging engineers, installing all the works, and then, generally, our maintenance teams will look after the jobs after that. 

We only do high-end residential projects – we don’t do commercial. Typically our projects involve swimming pools – we’re licenced pool builders as well – so it’s generally a swimming pool, an outdoor entertaining area, and then there’s some other small elements we oversee on site, like retaining walls, pathways, decking; basically anything that’s outside.  

 

KNOW WHAT MATTERS MOST IN YOUR OUTDOOR AREA: 

We generally ask our clients what their priorities are. Then there are a couple of things that restrict that. There’s the site, if, for example, someone has a really small backyard and they want a swimming pool and a big outdoor entertainment area, it’s just not possible. There’s size and then there’s budget as well. I think it’s wise for people to write a priorities list and then consider whether the site can realistically fit those in as well. 


This Five Dock project from Harrison Landscaping is a contemporary backyard area, complete with a pool and outdoor kitchen for entertaining.

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A HOME AND ITS OUTDOOR AREA: 

I think it’s critical. It’s probably the most important aspect. There’s nothing worse than seeing an [outdoor area] design that has no correlation to the home. 

 

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF OUTDOOR SPACES, SMALL AND LARGE: 

We always say ‘simple is better’ with small spaces. Less is more. You see small spaces that are overcrowded with pots, lots of different colours going on and it just looks really busy. We just try and keep things quite simple. Keep a really neutral colour tone, keep the layout really simple, and, with the pots, use a couple of really big oversized pots, rather than lots of little pots. 

I think in larger gardens, scale is the most important thing. Make sure every element fits into the space right. Such as the pool not being too small so it’s underwhelming, or that the BBQ area is too big and morphs the pool. It’s just about getting the scale right. 

 

HOW HARRISON’S WORK WITH SCYON™: 

We like Scyon™ as a fencing product, particularly in smaller jobs when you don’t want to plant in front of a fence. Scyon can make a feature out of a fence. It’s hardwearing. Whereas with timber – depending on the client –they have to be thorough in maintaining it. Scyon is great, you just fit it, paint it and you’re done. 


Scyon Matrix™ panels are used to bring this Manly rooftop garden to life.

HOW THE AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE AND LIFESTYLE INFLUENCES OUR OUTDOOR AREAS: 

The three things that most of clients want is: a swimming pool because of the Australian climate; a level lawn for kids to run around on in the backyard; and an outdoor entertaining area. People used to go out to restaurants and bars and other things to socialise but now many people prefer to do that at home. They want that set up at home and they want an outdoor kitchen, an outdoor wine fridge, and a cupboard area, if it’s hot or it’s raining.  

The materials for those elements just need to be good, hardwearing materials like Australian hardwoods, sandstone, painted and rendered walls and Scyon, that’s why we like it. 

 

Feeling inspired? See more design ideas, tips and advice from Scyon.