As we move into summer, the courtyard space starts to look a lot more inviting. And if your outdoors space has been neglected - or perhaps you're considering installing one from scratch - Matt Leacy and his team at Landart have a few tips to help you create an urban oasis.

“Generally speaking, creating a space that is a welcoming sanctuary to relax and entertain in is the key goal; changing lifestyles is what it is all about,” says Matt. Here is his expert advice for everyone with a smaller outdoors space to play with.

A holiday-let property clearly has specific requirements regarding its outdoor areas - and it also provides some good ideas for family-home gardens too.

Story Gabrielle Baxter
Photography Tony Potter
Styling Kirsten Randl-Katalinic

This holiday destination is among the best in the world – Bondi – say no more! And a group of specialists involved in landscaping, building and furniture production got the short-term let idea from a friend who was doing it very successfully. Check it out at www.staybondi.com.au


Susan and Gordan Tait from Tait, www.madebytait.com.au, know just how great a balcony can be when the space is used properly. Here they share with us their ten top tops for achieving balcony bliss.

The apartment balcony, whether it’s urban or beachside, is an extension of the living room. It’s also a much sought-after and prized slice of real estate. Like any room or nook, large or small, well-chosen and well-designed furniture and accessories will maximise the feeling of space. A thoughtfully decked-out balcony becomes a more useable space for year-round enjoyment.

Edible flowers can be an exciting addition both to your garden and to your cooking. There are many varieties of herbs and flowering plants that can add flavour and colour to your meals and they can be great fun for kids to get involved with! Follow these steps and you will have your edible garden up and running in no time, writes Louise McDaid from Eden Gardens nursery.

1. Choose your location!

An outdoor room is a great way to extend your living space and provide an informal area to unwind and take things easy – so why not keep it simple?

You’ve probably noticed how important outdoor living spaces have become to the way we live. For all sorts of reasons, most of us are spending more time at home these days, relaxing with our families and entertaining friends, and it’s the informality that comes with being out of doors that most of us are seeking.

Even cooks with a very limited repertoire appreciate the difference a few well-chosen herbs can make to a dish. In fact, a dash of the right seasoning has the power to elevate the culinary novice to super-chef status. And for all-round satisfaction, there’s nothing like fresh herbs you’ve grown yourself. You can start out with a few of the most common ones in pots or try planting them in a rockery or as borders in flower beds; then, as your recipes become more inventive, your herb garden can become more elaborate too.



There’s lots to do in the garden in autumn but it can be plenty of fun when the whole family gives a hand – and once it’s done, there’ll be time to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Let our helpful hints be your guide.


• As temperatures fall, it’s easy to forget about keeping soil moist, but plants need water all year round to survive, whether it’s hot or cold.

While ministers stride the corridors of power in Parliament House, Sydney, somewhere above them a gardener is putting the finishing touches to a bed of perennials.


We try to provide the best food for ourselves, so we should do the same for our gardens if we want them to thrive. Good, rich soil will grow healthy plants, and healthy plants are less likely to suffer from diseases and insects. To get great soil, steer clear of synthetic fertilisers and try slow-release organic ones that will supplement any lacking nutrients naturally.


If your post-summer garden looks like a chaotic reflection of your busy life, maybe it’s time for that minimalist mantra, ‘less is more’! For an outdoor living space that’s both undemanding and strongly aesthetic, simplification is one time-honoured recipe for success.