An Evergreen Coastal Garden Retreat – Jan Juc by King’s Landscaping
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Amongst the rugged coastal environment of Victoria’s Surf Coast, an expanse of vibrant lawn surrounded by lush vegetation forms an idyllic pocket akin to a private resort. Designed and built by King’s Landscaping, the Jan Juc project is the result of a close collaboration between landscaper and client.
King’s Landscaping was founded by Jason King in 2008 in Melbourne before the draw of the Surf Coast lifestyle prompted a move to Geelong in 2012. In the eight years since then, the company has developed a diverse portfolio of work and the team has grown accordingly. “We design all our projects in house and we’ve just recently moved into our new design studio in Geelong,” Jason says. Encompassing both design and landscaping installation has been key to the success of King’s Landscaping since moving to the Bellarine, due to the wider spread of projects in the area. “There are a lot of coastal properties here but also old Victorian and period-style homes in inner-Geelong that lend themselves to a more formal timeless design. Fortunately, we’re very adaptive to working with these and many other different styles,” reflects Jason.
When it came to the Jan Juc project, a garden 15 months in the making, this adaptability enabled King’s Landscaping to respond to the client’s clear vision for “an evergreen garden with lots of layers of green vegetation to create a tranquil retreat that would also provide protection from the wind year-round.” While the client had met with other landscaping companies, none were willing or able to embrace the client’s brief for such a lush and verdant garden in the relatively dry and remote coastal environment. “It was certainly challenging, as the site is just back from the cliff of Bells Beach and generally these type of plants are not used in such a rugged landscape,” Jason explains. “We planted waterhousea floribunda, as through years working with these trees and knowing how hardy they are, we were absolutely sure they would be a success.”
“We design all our projects in house and we’ve just recently moved into our new design studio in Geelong.”
Complementing the green foliage and lawns, natural stone paving, fireplace and walls contribute structure and texture to the landscape design. “We went with a lighter coloured Beaufort sandstone that complements the beautiful oak flooring in the house. The client loved the feel of it underfoot when walking outside in bare feet coming home from a surf,” Jason says. Meanwhile, the use of cobblestone in the courtyard lends the design a classic formality that subtly contrasts with the relaxed plantings of sedum and salvia throughout the garden. The fireplace was a crucial element that was designed in particularly close consultation with the client. “He showed me photos of a fireplace he saw in Canada that was extremely organic, constructed from unrendered stone,” Jason recalls. King’s Landscaping took inspiration from this to design a fireplace that becomes a focal point of the garden – a commanding presence that is complementary to the natural elements of the surrounding landscape design.
A key element of the brief was to offer protection from the prevailing winds to allow the garden to be enjoyed all year round. The stone walls that frame the pool terrace were positioned with the largest wall to the north offering protection from the strong hot northerly winds that impact the site in summer, while walls to either side offer further protection from westerly winds. The pool house also offers shelter from the elements, providing a shady retreat in summer, while in the cooler months becoming a warmer space in which the garden could still be appreciated. The result is a true indoor-outdoor living experience crafted through multiple different areas and moments for all seasons, creating an expansive garden akin to a private coastal resort for the client.
“We designed an evergreen garden with lots of layers of green vegetation to create a tranquil retreat that would also provide protection from the wind year-round.”
Given the scale of the project “the client put a lot of trust in us; working with someone so passionate and driven was an awesome experience,” Jason says. He explains that clients are increasingly drawn to the fact King’s Landscaping offers both design and construction, as it ensures a more seamless experience – a particularly significant consideration for a project of this scale and complexity. The Jan Juc project also highlighted the importance of King’s Landscaping leading the team of contractors who contributed, ensuring that the design integrity was executed in full. “On this project, it was a great team effort from start to finish – a big thanks to Sam Beel Construction, Eco Outdoor for the stone, and to Kiama Pools for the great swimming pool within the landscape,” says Jason.
King’s Landscaping has brought the client’s vision to life, creating a green oasis in the heart of one of Victoria’s most beloved coastal regions. Living proof of why King’s Landscaping has become one of the area’s most sought-after landscape designers and builders, the Jan Juc project is a true garden for all seasons.