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Atrium Garden Takes On New Life



Located in the heart of Mosman’s upmarket shopping precinct, this landscaping project played centre stage to this architecturally designed, residential apartment complex. Architecture firm, Nettleton Tribe designed the contemporary building featuring a generous internal courtyard with raised garden beds; a design solution which would enrich the building and create a welcoming entrance for tenants and guests alike.

Following several storms which destroyed the original garden, Joanne Green Landscape and Interior was engaged to restore the space. The brief was short: To create an atrium garden which would look good all year round. “The garden beds were originally planted with bamboo, with a Rhapis Palm, Spathylum and Philodendron Xanadu understory. The Body Corporate owners loved the tall lime-green spears of bamboo that towered three stories high in the atrium, and the movement that it brought to the space. However, after multiple storms including one which completely flattened the bamboo, it was no longer manageable.” Said Joanne.

Within two short weeks of commencing, the garden was transformed. To achieve this firstly involved the challenging task of removing and discarding the bamboo. “As with all inner-city projects located in multi-residential complexes, one of the obstacles is access.” Commented Neylon. “The atrium garden was only accessible via a narrow service entrance which then led through the main covered foyer. All of the work had to be done by hand and then carried out.” Said Joanne. Minimising disruption to residents was another consideration, so landscaping work was undertaken outside of peak times.

The new plant palette was specifically selected for each location within the courtyard, the result being a lush and interesting space to enjoy if viewed from one of the levels above or the walkway adjacent the planter. Along with a few existing plants which were retained, new planting included a mix of Golden Cane Palms (Dypsis lutescens) to provide a similar lime-green look and potential height as the original bamboo; Oriental Pearl (Raphiolepis indica); Knobby Club Rush (Isolepis nodosa); Heliconia for their red flower; Bloodleaf (Iresine herbstii) for further splashes of red; and Silver Lady Ferns (Blechnum gibbum) to soften the overall aesthetic. New stainless-steel wires were installed to train Star Jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) up decorative pipes, again providing height with the advantage of flowers and a beautiful seasonal summer scent.


Working alongside a Body Corporate on a project is nothing new to Joanne Green Landscape and Interior. In 1987 the company was awarded Excellence in Landscape Construction - Multi Housing by The Landscape Association, and has since undertaken several landscape design, construction, and garden maintenance projects for multi-residential complexes. “We have previously worked with strata management companies and know that along with timeframes, budget is always important.” Mentioned Joanne. This project on Military Road was a stand-out however, with Joanne commenting how “It was wonderful working on a project with such interested residents. After successfully completing this project, we will certainly be looking at ways in which we can bring our skills to more residential apartment complexes across Sydney.”

Since completing the landscape project, our team of experienced horticulturists have continued to maintain the courtyard garden.