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The Block ‘Sky High’ – Park Street, South Melbourne.

"A little bit inner-city, a little bit Palm Springs... this garden successfully fuses two design styles to create a stylish outdoor retreat. But its distinctive design isn’t the only thing that sets this garden apart.

Designed by David Franklin of Franklin Landscape and Design in conjunction with Madi and Jarrod Coppock, contestants on the television show The Block, this is a unique outdoor retreat. “We had to design and build the garden, with the help of Madi and Jarrod, in just five days,” says David. “We also had every tradesman on-site at the same time trying to finish their jobs, which created a very hard work environment. Oh, and it rained every day!”

Madi and Jarrod wanted the garden to have a Palm Springs feel but with a modern twist. David’s design, with gentle sweeps, architectural planting and a contemporary mix of colours and materials, strikes just the right balance between relaxed resort-style and contemporary urban.

This is a garden that abounds with eye-catching elements, starting with the curved timber seats at either end of the garden. One faces a firepit set atop an area paved in granite setts, the other takes pride of place on a raised timber deck and wraps around a timber dining table.

“The table, custom-built using recycled timber, is a special feature in its own right,” adds David. “It has three recessed spaces: two are planted with succulents and the third is used to store bottles of beer or soft drink, depending on your pleasure!”

The timber table, seating and decking are the perfect foil for the natural stone that is used throughout the garden. This includes the granite setts used for paving and as capping for the planters, the granite steppers that lead through the lawn and link the two seating areas, and the feature wall comprised of vertical pieces of split stone, which have all been set at a 45° angle.

Along the base of the feature wall, the garden bed is planted with three sorts of succulent, each a different colour and shape to add visual interest. In fact, succulents and cacti have been used throughout the garden, chosen for their low-maintenance requirements and to reference Palm Springs.

“This was a north-facing garden and we didn’t want to block out the sun, so we kept the design as open as possible,” says David. “And as the space was somewhat limited, we introduced lots of curves to create a sense of flow and to take the eye on a journey.”

The result is a modern masterpiece."

Gallery.