Outdoor Entertaining Areas

A landscaped garden is reimagined to create an elegant poolside oasis

Mature greenery forms a lush palette of green and white in a functional family entertaining zone
Simon Whitbread

It’s always a juggle to balance beauty with practicality – especially when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor space for a young family. However, this garden, located in Concord, in Sydney’s inner west, manages the challenge with aplomb, delivering a new and elegant poolside area to a newly renovated family home.

pool lounges by a landscaped garden area with pool
The classic aesthetic and formal lines of this garden were created by Lyndall Keating of Garden Society. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Landscape designer and horticulturalist Lyndall Keating of Garden Society worked with owners Frank and Anna to create a classic entertaining space using a subdued colour palette of green and white. “The house had just gone through extensive renovations,” explains Lyndall. “We had previously completed the front garden, and then the owners put in a pool as part of the renovation, so we returned to complete the poolscape and the surrounding back garden.”

Poolside cabana with green striped poll towels
Lyndall Keating designed the area between the pool and the pool house as a semi-soft area, serving as a transition between the two surfaces. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)


The creation of a functioning entertaining area for the family, which includes three young children, was the primary focus of Frank and Anna’s brief. The pool house is an extension of the garage, so design challenges included incorporating a driveway for practical reasons, while still keeping a sense of elegance in the layout. Glass fencing means that the pool blends seamlessly with the surrounding garden, helping to create a smooth transition between the pool and pool house.

landscaped garden pool glass fence
Star jasmine is planted in a diamond shape along the fence line, framed by a row of water gums. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

“We extended the tiles in strips and we planted dichondra plant tiles in between as an instant coverage,” Lyndall says. The result is an area that feels dry underfoot, even when you’ve just stepped out of the pool and are dripping wet. Lyndall explains, “There’s also a nice softness, so it cools the area down in the heat of summer.”

French bulldog sitting on day bed by pool
Louis the French bulldog enjoys the good life lounging by the new pool. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Lush garden plantings 

Mature plants were included, especially for the trees and the hedging plants, which means that the garden already has an established look despite being less than two years old. “More established specimens give you that instant grown-in feel,” says Lyndall, explaining that it prevents the garden from experiencing an awkward developing stage.

While the outdoor area flows seamlessly, there are three distinct zones designed to fit the family’s lifestyle. “The top tier is the outdoor alfresco area with the outdoor fireplace and pizzeria; the second is the pool, which is on a mid level that also incorporates the garage; then it’s one step down into the pool house,” explains Lyndall.

pink hydrangeas on a path
Hydrangeas create rows of colour along the base of the garden beds and were chosen as they are a favourite of Anna’s. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

Anna was involved in the choice of plants, asking for a few favourites and requesting white flowers to complement the lush greenery, resulting in some fragrant plantings, including star jasmine, trellised in a diamond pattern for added interest. “White and green is a classical statement that really never goes out of fashion,” says Lyndall.

“There’s a sense of slight formality with the wire work in the pool but everything else was kept loose for joyful movement in the garden”

Lyndall Keating, landscape designer
outdoor pool seating area
Owners Frank and Anna are in the process of growing a large dipladenia over the top of the pool house to soften its appearance. (Credit: Simon Whitbread)

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