Design Philosophy

Sam Cox designs and builds natural style gardens. He learned his craft under renowned landscape designer, the late Gordon Ford. Establishing his own business in the Eltham area in 1999, Sam continues the philosophies and practices of noted landscape pioneers such as Edna Walling, Ellis Stones and Gordon Ford, creating the timeless appeal of the natural style garden.

Sam's philosophy is uncompromising in both contemporary and traditional contexts; Australian gardens need to use Australian plants and materials in a way that emulates the natural landscape. Sam’s designs incorporate the existing characteristics of topography and vegetation, cater to spatial needs and compliment buildings by enhancing the best features while settling them into their environment.

The key design principle is that of mass and void, created by the planned use of space and a natural transition with materials used. Its application creates balance and contrast between the mass - boulder outcrops, mounds and plantings, with the void - pathways, grassed areas, ponds, pools and paved areas.

Where possible, Sam gives preference to local native plants. With both broad acre planting and smaller gardens, more traditional native plants like grevilleas, callistemons and correas are used closer to the living areas. Away from the house, indigenous plants are used as they require less maintenance and less water. In order to create a greater sense of space, boundaries are non defined by heavy planting.

Sam’s hands-on approach integrates design and construction in all his landscape projects. The designs are based on carefully honed techniques learned from his time with Ford and depend on their skilled application. Nuanced rock placement, subtle earth shaping and layered group plantings are all essential elements of understated naturalism in a landscape. 


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