The garden of a private home in Portsea, Victoria.

The garden of a private home in Portsea, Victoria. Credit:Amelia Stanwix

What were the challenges? Salty winds and dry, infertile soils, which made the selection of plants particularly important. They needed to be low maintenance, as the owners would not always be there. We used succulents and cacti, including century plant, golden barrel cactus and Euphorbia wulfenii, and contrasted them with tough native species like dwarf banksia, melaleuca and olive leaf grevillea.

How did you deal with the watering problem? We installed an irrigation system that the owners could turn on, and scheduled a series of maintenance visits from our team.

What’s your favourite part of the whole thing? The entrance courtyard (pictured). It’s defined by concrete steps that we poured on site. I love the outdoor entertaining area, too, which floats above nature, making you feel like you’re sitting within the landscape.

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