Creating a Subtropical Vibe in Marrickville

1 September 2021


In this article, we look at the collaboration with Authentic Landscapes & Design with Crystal Pools and the project that transformed Marrickville Garden into a subtropical oasis.
travertine pool mural

In this article, we look at the collaboration with Authentic Landscapes & Design with Crystal Pools and the project that transformed Marrickville Garden into a subtropical oasis.

Using our Classic Travertine, we look at how Authentic Landscapes connected different elements of the landscaping and what was their choice of plants in order to make the outdoor space leafy but also low maintenance.

Then, we chat with Tom and learn more about Authentic Landscapes & Design and ask them about the current landscaping trends.

Subtropical Vibe Meets Inner West

The client brief included a desire to create a sub-tropical vibe in their garden, with a touch of inner west as well as introducing a local artist into the design.

The project started with the pool and its surrounds, but as it was progressing, the client wanted to extend it and transform the whole garden. Rather than just upgrading the pool, the garden in Marrickville underwent a major overhaul.

When reconstructing the backyard, the clients gave Tom and Craig from Authentic Landscapes free reign with the design, colours, materials, and plants.

The idea of creating a subtropical atmosphere, connecting it to Australian nature as well as the inner-west location was kept throughout all the aspects of the project.

travertine pool coping

The Mural Connecting All the Elements

The mural next to the pool was used as a piece that connects all of these aspects together. The client engaged a local artist, Thomas Jackson, in the project.

Thomas specializes in Australian wildlife portrayed in a new natural historic aesthetic.

This element connects to Australian nature, nods to the subtropical landscaping design, and the local artists bring in the vibrant inner-west aspect.

Classic Travertine Pavers Adding an Inviting Look

Crystal Pools oversaw the construction of the pool and Authentic Landscapes handled the rest of the project, including all the aspects surrounding the decking, fencing, and design.

The client selected our 1st Choice Classic Travertine pavers in a French pattern for the pool coping and surrounds.

The Travertine brought lightness to the design, making the whole area look fresh. The colours of the classic Travertine worked well in combination with the glass mosaics and the pool.

We like using light-coloured Travertine or Limestone as a part of the landscaping design,” said Tom from Authentic Landscapes. “It is a natural, inviting product that makes the atmosphere of the garden area more relaxed and calming.”

Transformation of the Landscaping Area

For the rest of the garden, the client wanted to preserve the existing frangipani tree as a feature and build the landscaping design around it.

In order to maximise the usable area of the garden, Authentic Landscapes suggested the spotted gum timber decking, plants, fencing and the rest of the design.

As the job was progressing, the client wanted to expand it further and transform the whole garden. We were in charge of the rest of the design, with the only requirement, to maintain the same throughout the project.

The final result was a transformation of the whole outdoor area,” explained Tom.

travertine pool landscaping

Plant Selection

Keeping in line with the client’s brief, we aimed to create a sub-tropical look with our choice of plants.

“We maintained the existing frangipani and build the rest of the landscape around it. Some of the plants we selected included crassula, kentia palms, and Elephant Alocasia, creeping ivy, Gracilis Bamboo, and others.”.

Maintenance-free Lush

Authentic Landscapes team selected the plants that created a leafy tropical atmosphere suitable to the Australian environment, blended with the existing frangipani, and added a touch of interest, such as the robust dramatic leaves of Elephant Alocasia.

Gracilis bamboo, which was used, is compact and non-evasive. It creates excellent coverage and will make a great natural privacy screen, which is a great addition to the city gardens.

The foliage stays green and lush all year round and the bamboo drops minimal leaf, so it’s great around pools.

All these plants, except for the bamboo, are easy to care for and basically maintenance-free, which will suit the lifestyle of the client but ensure the garden will still look leafy and lively for years to come,” described Tom.

classic travertine pool

About Authentic Landscapes & Design

Authentic Landscapes & Design was founded in 2012 by friends Thomas Cole and Craig Lowe. ​They offer a complete Landscape service: design, construction and maintenance.

Their services include, but are not limited to gardens, lawns, paving, pool surrounds and renovations, retaining walls, stone and block work, water features, and decking.

How often do you work with natural stone in your projects? And how would you compare it to other materials?

We tend to use mostly natural stone for our projects. I would say 95% of the time, we work with natural stone.

We usually select light-coloured stone, which makes the area more inviting. Our clients like the look of light beige or grey colours for creating a calm coastal atmosphere. Travertine or alfresco Limestone are both perfect for that.

Occasionally, we also work with Granite if the client wants to create a different, more sophisticated design.

It is an easy product to maintain and clean. By using suitable cleaning and maintenance products, natural stone will maintain its look for a long time.

travertine pool

Authentic Landscapes has been in operation for almost 10 years now. What are some of your favourite kinds of projects to work on? 

We enjoy a variety of landscape projects and like the jobs that include a few different design aspects such as decking or even water features.

We work on pools and areas surrounding the pool, but we like when we get a chance to mix it up. We enjoy projects that involve the transformation of the area and create a completely new look, and we have a passion for creating a tropical oasis.

What are some of the current trends you’ve noticed in your projects, in terms of pool and landscape designs?

We found that since people are spending a lot more time at home now, they really want to transform the whole area straight away rather than just renovating a part of the backyard.

People desire a lush-looking garden that also requires minimal maintenance. They want to minimize the time they have to spend tending and trimming their garden and maximize the time they get to enjoy it.

Products Used in this project:

First Choice Classic Travertine Tumbled Pavers

Want to know more about the products in this article or discuss your project requirements?
Call us on 02 9666 9222 or visit our showroom

Table of Contents

Authentic Landscapes & Design offer a complete Landscape service: design, construction and maintenance for all Sydney areas.

Follow Authentic Landscapes on Facebook and Instagram.

Crystal Pools are Master Builders of Sydney’s finest residential pools since 1957.

Follow Crystal Pools on Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

Thomas Jackson is An Australian artist and illustrator who was born in Bolton, U.K. He specializes in Australian wildlife in a new contemporary natural historic aesthetic.

Moving to Sydney, Australia as a child, he was instantly drawn to the natural wildlife of this new country. Thomas puts a modern take on ‘Natural History Illustration’,  painstakingly creating smaller-scale works for galleries and translating these into large scale public murals.

Follow Thomas Jackson on Facebook and Instagram.