Odyssey Landscapes takes out the Silver Award at the Queensland Garden Expo 2019

award - Odyssey Landscapes takes out the Silver Award at the Queensland Garden Expo 2019

Odyssey Landscapes takes out the Silver Award at the Queensland Garden Expo 2019

From 3D Design To Real life


A big big thank you!

The QLD Garden Expo has provided the team at Odyssey Landscapes with an amazing opportunity to showcase our passion and creativity for landscaping to thousands of people from all over Australia and the Sunshine Coast.

The opportunity to create an amazing oasis within such a small space was a challenge from the get-go What do you build? How are we going to build it? What do we want to show people? 

These were the questions going through our heads while planning our garden layout for the QLD Garden Expo. So we took the time to step back and think about exactly what families & entertainers want from their backyards these days? Such a difficult question to answer,   as no two people are the same … which is why every one of our landscapes are custom designed to suit our clients’ lifestyles. 

With all of this in mind, we set out to create a landscape that ticked nearly every box we could think of! 

Key Goals


  1. Maximise the Small Space


When we originally picked our spot, we were attracted to it for its unique placement and the potential of creating a large-feeling space within a small physical area. The space we choose measured 18m x 8m (this is smaller than the average backyard, but by no means the smallest garden we’ve designed!). 

We decided to turn our project sideways & really utilise the length of the space to our advantage. By doing this we were able to create ‘full depth’ effect using screening plants and plenty of layering to distract attention from the narrowness of the area. 

This method uses subconscious boundaries and barriers that draw your eyes down through the landscape and gives a sense of vastness that encourages the user to go on a journey and find out more. To this end, we built a large, luxurious cabana at the end of the block in order to stimulate the user —  the idea is to provide an ‘end goal’ or an area to reach and obtain, 

  1. Make it Functional & Usable

The old saying “form & function are king” is very true. If we build a landscape based entirely on aesthetics, it might look amazing, but we need to consider the functionality of the space so people will use and enjoy the area. The landscaping must account for the occupants’ lifestyle in the design.

For example:

  • You have 3 young children and they need an area to play or a trampoline
  • Have way to many fur babies & these guys need a bathroom!
  • That you live a busy lifestyle and need something that looks amazing but doesn’t take your weekends away from you
  • That you enjoy entertaining and showing of your new things whilst having a beverage or two with your friends
  • Perhaps you love to meditate or simply enjoy having your own private space to drift away from the day-to-day grind and have that ahhhhh (Deep breath) (Relax) moment in the privacy of your home
  1. Include different elements to draw people outside

At the end of the day, we need to find a way to draw people outside,  to be able to create a sense of interest that makes people hungry to connect with nature and get away from that office chair. 

We love to include different elements and materials in our projects, which always keep you guessing. The use of small but effective spaces is so crucial in smaller gardens, particularly in regards to the use of materials. 

In this landscape, we used a cool-colour Silver Travertine for the curved pathway, in a french pattern, that led up to a warm sunken fire pit! The fire pit has been cladded in beautiful hardwood (Yellow Belau) to create a wonderful warm area that is sure to attract people on the cold nights. 

The large and luxurious cabana at the back of the garden is the star of the show, along with the water feature that mimics a curtain of rain brushing up against the lush foliage of Magnolia Teddy Bears — all in a space measuring 144m2. 

  1. Create Depth & Interest within the Space

Nothing is more boring than a flat landscape. As humans we are inquisitive creatures – our curiosity always gets the better of us. Much like when you go for a long drive, if the roads are long and straight, we often find them stale after the first 10 minutes. However, when we find a long winding road ahead of us, not knowing what we’re going to find around the next bend, our sense of curiosity starts to emerge.  

With landscaping, it’s no different. By creating different level changes within the landscape we create depth and interest. This was one of the most-challenging design considerations we faced! By building up the garden using retaining walls around the entire plot, we created a sense of height on approaching the area. Then we played with the levels further by incorporating a sunken fire pit and a raised cabana, creating that sense of entering a landscaping Odyssey.

  1. Must be Low Maintenance

Like most people these days, our lives are only getting busier. We’re working longer hours and harder than ever before to achieve our goals. This leaves us in a predicament — we want our weekends free to spend time with our loved ones, not doing manual labour the backyard pulling weeds and hedging plants. 

The landscaping display we designed for the QLD Garden Expo achieved exactly this.  We exclusively incorporated plants that only require yearly pruning and at that will look amazing year-round. The lawn is a deep lush prestige Buffalo (Should Plug Terence here) that handles the SE Queensland climate year-round (so no dead grass come spring!) and is ready to show you how strong the fence line is when there trying to peak over.

  1. Easily Obtainable for the Modern Family

Importantly, we wanted to ensure the landscape design and implementation was completely attainable for everybody!!! Whether you’re a DIY’er or maybe looking to have it built by a professional, this garden will ultimately add value to your property and improve your lifestyle.

“You can build an amazing house with all the bells and whistles…  but it’s not a home until the gardens are done”


In the lead up to the expo, we documented the entire construction process. If you’re interested in learning more about how we work, please check it out below.

To complete this garden, the Odyssey Landscapes Team took on the challenge to build the display in just 4 days.


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We started the day at the QLD Garden Expo by marking out our design and organising the spaces & getting the team onboard with the future masterpiece we were about to create. We then got into digging holes for the Cabana so we could set the posts and frame for the decking. Whilst this was happening, a separate team worked on digging footings for a retaining wall & our sunken fire pit!


By this stage, the team had finished working in the dark the night before, and we were back on site before sunrise to start installing our sunken fire pit. After this was complete, we moved on to building the frame for our elevated tiled area that surrounds the sunken fire pit. Meanwhile, the other team is off and away building the Cabana. 


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CABANA = DONE! The team has done a fantastic job so far — the frame for the tiled area has been completed and the teams are laying down some silver travertine. This is when it feels like the job is starting to come together! One of the teams has started to build the retaining wall now, since it’s a job that takes time to ensure it’s built correctly.


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We’re getting closer… it’s crunch time now! The retaining wall is done and the team has started to level the lawn area, and look at putting the water feature together. We’ve never attended the QLD Garden Expo before and people are always wary of water (things might go wrong when you have water features in your display). Fingers and toes crossed that it all comes together smoothly but only time will tell. If not, we better come up with a plan B quickly! The 2nd team is working on putting all the plants into the display — in a matter of only 30 minutes, the garden changes from a blank and empty shell into a full landscape, bursting with a canvas of colour.


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We’ve scrapped in by the skin of our teeth, we were up till late last night in the expo show grounds (until we got kicked out by security). But we can say it’s done! We’ve built our water feature with no hiccups at all, and the display is ready to go. 


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