The Art of Landscape Design with Elizabeth Weyer
Website: Elizabeth Weyer
Landscape design is the art of combining nature and architecture. The aim is to create an aesthetic outdoor space that is functional while reflecting your personality and lifestyle. Landscape design goes beyond your typical garden to truly elevate the home. To help explore this essential, yet often overlooked topic, we’ve enlisted the help of the amazing Elizabeth Weyer. Come with us as we tour her latest projects, learn about upcoming trends, and even get some tips for those of us who are not so fortunate in the green thumb department.
Hi Elizabeth! It’s so lovely to chat with you, can you tell us a little bit about your company?
We are a boutique Landscape design service working throughout Brisbane. We create outdoor spaces that are as unique as our clients. We seek to create outdoor spaces that are at one with the architecture and representative of the people who call it home. For some, that means extroverted spaces built to entertain many, for others it means an introverted sanctuary to escape to.
Why is landscape design such an important element in the home?
HA, how long do you have? From a pragmatic view your landscape is the first impression of your home, and the only glimpse most people will ever see of it, other than the select few who are invited inside. A carefully curated landscape can not only improve the functionality and flow of your outdoor spaces but also elevate the architecture of the home to something very special and cohesive. From a more romantic view, beautifully designed outdoor spaces are restorative, they set the stage for the lives of its inhabitants to play out in. The backdrop of family gatherings, play, rest, creativity, and where real life happens, away from work and the rest of the world.
What outdoor design styles do you recommend for people without a green thumb?
If you don’t have a green thumb, I recommend getting help from a professional in selecting plants that suit your climatic zone, plants that will naturally thrive where you live and grow well with minimal involvement. Successful gardens have the right plant in the right place.
There has been a shift in client requests recently to a Palm Springs aesthetic that consists of low-maintenance sparsely planted cacti and architectural plants. This style of garden is low involvement once established but needs special attention during construction to ensure they have the right soil type and are very well drained to prevent issues, particularly in a subtropical climate, like Brisbane.
You have so many amazing projects, can you tell us a little bit about ‘MATI HQ’ and ‘ZOUHOUSE’?
MATI HQ –
I was delighted to be approached to work on this project, the personal home of long-term clients at MATI Constructions. The home and landscape were designed to be an entertainer's dream and a nod to the owner's Greek heritage. As well as a showpiece it needed to function as a family garden with two small children and a large extended family to entertain. We wanted the front gardens to have a grand sense of arrival and elegance while the rear outdoor spaces have a relaxed Mediterranean resort feel. A place for family to connect with nature and each other. The formality of the front garden melts away as soon as you arrive at the large glass and steel frame entrance doors that reveal a glimpse of the sunken fire pit in the backyard drawing guests through the home.
A large outdoor kitchen by the talented crew at Cabinet Collective flows onto a generous lawn for play and sunken firepit surrounded with Mediterranean planting and flanked with a large family pool with sun lounges and a showstopper outdoor shower area.
Also the private home of long-term clients Chris and Christal from ZOUBUILD, ZOUHOUSE has many hats to wear. As well as a busy family home with two teenagers it would also serve as an Aloca photoshoot venue. The site itself had a few constraints such as a small footprint, odd proportions at the rear, and a backyard that was primarily viewed from the large entertaining alfresco above. At the front of the property, you enter through into a beautiful stone walled courtyard that gives a sense of enclosure and privacy from the road above. Faux turf and seating bench make this small courtyard the perfect spot for the kids to play and hang out.
The backyard has a “holiday at home” feel and is accessed by spiral stairs from the alfresco above. Leading to the pool area with a gorgeous daybed and custom upholstery by Square Fox Designs. The oval lawn is surrounded by eccentric planting and frames the feature fireplace which acts like a magnet drawing guests off the alfresco down to the gardens. Also providing the perfect backdrop as a photoshoot location.
What outdoor trends should we be on the lookout for in 2023?
I think the wanderlust inspired gardens that have dominated during the COVID years that evoke far flung places like Santorini, Ibiza, Palm Springs will still be with us for a little longer. I have noticed a turn towards a more naturalistic style of garden too, one that is relaxed and a little wild counterpointed with crisp hard landscaping.
What advice would you give to someone looking to transform their outdoor space?
The best way to achieve a transformation is to get some professional help, you can find a Landscape designer in your local area by looking on the Landscape Design Institute website. If you’re going it alone, avoid running to the garden centre and buying whatever takes your fancy. Take some time to think about what you need from your space and the activities that will take place there like entertaining, play, hobbies. Also where do you need to create shade or block an unsightly view? Once you have mapped out the spaces you will need, you can start thinking about how you would like the garden to look and feel.
Knowing what aesthetic and style you are hoping to achieve will help inform your choice of materials and planting style. Your local independent garden centre can help you to select plants that suit the aesthetic you are trying to achieve but that will also suit your climate. You may like to take along some inspirational photos of your aesthetic and of your site.
Lastly, the word we all try and avoid… budget! Make sure that you set aside enough in your budget to use the same quality of materials you have used through your home as well as cover the many construction elements required to create a landscape such as pathways. stairs, retaining, entertaining areas etc. My general rule of thumb is 20-30% of the value of the home should be allocated to complete your outdoor areas to a similar standard. Pools etc. may throw this number out. Good gardens take good planning, preparation, and time, but you will reap the rewards for years to come.