My Own Garden(s)


We renovated this quirky wee house a couple of years ago, turning one of the front bedrooms into an office for me, and renting the rest of the house out to a residential tenant. My sister Ali and I did a quick (cheap) makeover of the back garden, to improve the view for the tenant (see pics), then attacked the front garden around my office. My garden is a work in progress, with plans for a new footpath entry, pavers, painting the fence and sculptures etc. But good things take time (and money...).

This is most definitely NOT intended as a display garden, rather, an inspirational and gorgeous place for me to work in. Envious friends call this my sanctuary - and it jolly near is!! Ideally I would like to have sculptures etc in the garden, but at the moment I am making do with plants.

Of course the plants I use here are many of my favourites....  

Always starting with the structural plants - Shrubs and trees: Feature trees Acer 'Bloodgood' (maples), buxus balls, Camellia hedges, purple flax, Pittosporum 'Elfin' balls, Astelia, Michelia standards, Viburnum 'Anvi' hedge, lancewoods, rengarenga lilies, Muehlenbeckia etc etc.

Perennials and bulbs: Heuchera, Bergenia, Euphorbia Chameleon, Geum, Lilies, Tulips, Freesias, Polyanthus, Primulas, Hellebores, Aristea, Dietes, Libertia (formosa and grandifora), Helenium, Scleranthus etc.

I did rough plans orginally, always intending the area to be split into two separate 'rooms' - front door is reds/dark foliage with street appeal, while side garden is private (when hedge grows) and shaded, with much more foliage contrast, with seasonal colours of oranges, silver, dash of purple, and lots of GREENS.

Both gardens have to look good 12 months of the year. I like strong structure, seasonal variation, flowers to pick, fragrance, and colour. The gardens were planted less than a year ago, so will change as they fill out. Can't wait for the hedges to grow, to define the separate areas. I just enjoy having a pocket sized garden to tinker in, compared to the huge country garden at Earlyhurst.

Front Garden @ First Street - REDS 
Tulips at the front door

AFTER! October 2010 - garden is 1 year old. Seen here from the footpath.
Dark red flaxes create structure along the footpath fence

Fothergilla gardenii - favourite shrub!!

BEFORE!!! Winter 2009
This side area will one day be private, once the hedges grow. I have used strong foliage plants in greens, russets and silvers to create contrast and a neutral backdrop for seasonal colours of orange (Helenium) and splashes of purple (Verbena bonariense). Foliage insludes Muehlenbeckia, Michelia standards, Magnolia grandiflora, lancewoods, Astelia, Scleranthus, rengarenga lilies, Bergenia, and Viburnum Anvi along the side fence. I have to paint the fence a dark charcoal one day soon. Ficus is climbing up the fence to make a wall of green.

Late summer Feb '10

Lancewood contrasting with Rengarenga foliage

Astelia in the foreground, Muehlenbeckia behind

The side garden before fence has been painted - Sept '10. A work in progress!!
Finally painted - and does'nt it show up the plants in front? Ironsand by Resene.

Michelia yunnanensis standards

Helenium flowers over summer


Poor old home garden gets the least of my time, and this is reflected in this page!! Will get more photos soon!!
The front of the house. The hedges and topiary give structure year-round. Oct'10
December 2012 - Asiatic lilies, alstromeria
and daylilies add splashes of red. 

The topiary cones are Corokia Bronze King
 The front garden at home is similar colours to the front garden at my office. I am passionate about using the best plants - Heuchera, euphorbia, buxus, daylilies, flaxes etc as the structural planting, with seasonal bulbs and colour changing during the year. Dahlias, Lilies, tulips etc are strategically planted for a long season of colour.
Red dahlia add a zing of colour through summer


Daylily and Alstromeria

Reds and orange of this lily pick up the other colours
around it, as there are orange lilies and then lots of red
things. This helps marry the two. 

From the front porch across to the tennis court. A green view
at this time of year , as all the colour is in the front garden.

Old faves - Heuchera and Euphorbia Chameleon 

Lime green Euphorbia adds highlights

Mid winter - the topiary cones, balls and hedges
mean structure is there right through the year,
with the flowers only providing  seasonal colour. 

A bit of fun, and a way to integrate two different hedge varieties.

Other Areas......

Mass planting of Hellebores and Rengarenga lilies under the fir tree.

Alstromeria are the BEST for picking.

I live the foliage of Bearded Irises even when flowers are over

Viburnum trilobum - absolute star!!
Bergenia and Dietes bicolour
Beautiful blue iris
A greedy local.......

THE WATERFALL....... this is on a separate page now....