Terrigal Fire-pit

Project completed by Inspired Exteriors in 2017.

The Terrigal Fire-pit residential project is the epitome of an entertainers delight. Situated on a one-acre property with sweeping lawns, structured gardens and perennials to complement the pool and entertaining spaces, Charlie Albone and Inspired Exteriors have done it again, creating a beautiful space for friends and family to enjoy for years to come.

“We worked with an architect redoing the house who wanted me to be involved” explains Charlie Albone. “The project had full-on working conditions, as a lot of construction was going on during the build.”

Constructing the sunken fire-pit

“The fire-pit was incredibly difficult to build as it used a diamond sawn sandstone developed to perfection. The construction team did an incredible job, and the planting also complemented the clean lines of the sandstone very well.”

The project involved excavating the site and connecting the space between the house and pool cabana, explains Charlie. “The aim was for the fire pit to feel sunken into the ground. This required a complex drainage system designed by a hydraulic engineering so the groundwater didn’t push the flooring up. The access was extremely tight, with each stone weighing 800 kilograms. We used a stone lifting machine, but it was on the limit and made it more tricky to construct.”

It is the combination of hard construction and softer planting that makes this fire-pit a stand out feature that not many gardens have.

Choice of planting

Charlie Albone explains that the formal structured landscaping was in the form of Camellia balls and Ficus trees planted in groups of four for an aerial hedge. This then travelled down the lawn area, says Charlie. Hardy planting was required to surround the fire-pit due to the heat generated, so Purple Foxtail grass and succulents like Crassula Bluebird were used. Plenty of low maintenance greenery was used, then perennials added around the lawn.

An additional water feature was also added. The back walk around the pool needed something significant, so Albone and Inspired Exteriors turned it into a tropical space, as the shade lent itself to a tropical design. Charlie explains that creating a tropical space also gave the garden extra room. “This also meant the residents were not faced with the same structured garden in this area, which gives added variety,” he said. 

Pool fence regulations limit the planting around the fence however, they utilised tufting Zoysia grass for that modern contemporary look. The pool cabana was also built to purpose and opens on all sides. It includes an undercover kitchen, bathroom, entertaining area and garden.

Working with Alpine

 “It can be difficult to work on the Central Coast – the logistics of working away from home mean that projects are more difficult in general. It is good to have suppliers to lean on such as Alpine Nurseries” explains Charlie.

“The Ficus trees were tricky, as we required these trees to be a certain size for an instant impact, as well as straight for pruning. Greg Knox at Alpine Nurseries hand selected all specimen plants. The trees were fantastic. We never have to worry with Alpine. The honesty of how the plants are looking allows you to design and be confident, which is the biggest benefit, that trust involved in using Alpine Nurseries.”

This project received a Silver in Residential Design and Construction up to $75,000 at the 2018 LNA Excellence Awards

Plants

  • Pyrus
  • Camellia
  • Ficus
  • Purple Foxtail grass
  • Crassula
  • Bluebird
  • Zoysia grass