Upper Plain Garden

BEFORE - August 2009 - an Olive orchard
AFTER from the same spot November 2013

How lucky I am to work with so many fabulous people! This new garden at Upper Plain has been one of my favourites, developed closely with my client, in 2010 and 2011, with me being given huge freedom to just design and plant. As one area was completed the next installation would be taking shape in my mind, and then - lists drawn up, plants purchased, and my team putting them in the ground. Voila! A very very enjoyable collaboration with very committed clients. Definately a garden to watch as it develops.

The plan started with a style my client had liked, from another property I had designed. This 'native theme' is out the front of the house, with lots of native plants, using texture and plant forms, rather than flowers, to help the house blend in with the landscape that included beautiful big Totara trees.

For the front of the house, Pittosporum 'Elfin' are the predominant theme along the entire front, with the ball shape being repeated in sculptures and plants. Then lots of spiky leaved plants for contrast. Shown here at six months old. 

The 'hedge' of trimmed Pittosporum Elfin leading to the Totara tree - Feb'12 RT 

Massed Rengarenga lily under an ancient Totara tree. 
The huge lawn is fabulous for the feeling of spaciousness. Pin Oaks and Magnolias have been planted within the lawn, with a shrub and tree backdrop of mixed NZ natives with Rhododendrons, Camellias, and mass groundcovers as well. Still early days for the shrubs and trees to really show up, but as the ground is infilled with bulbs etc, this area will be a real feature of the property.

The garden out the back is a more intimate space, the courtyard here being loosely based on Versailles, France, with exhuberant perennials, buxus hedges, and huge topiary cones (Buxus to fill the obelisks eventually!). The chequerboard paving was the clients idea, intended to co-ordinate with the mixture of limestone garden paths, with grey concrete around the house. I love it! I LOVED designing all the COLOUR for this garden, and it changes so much during the year, as well. Purples, blues, whites, yellows and lime greens are predominant during summer. Splashes of other colours with spring bulbs etc - just leaving Roselee to her own devices, which is what a garden should be all about!!

Just planted - November 2010

Two months on - January 2011. Starting to fill up with perennials.
Versailles at one year old - Feb 2012

The chequerboard paving and pots add another element of fun and interest.
You can tell by how excited the cat looks!!! :-)

Steps leading down to the potager

Convolulus mauritanicus flowers, C. cneorum silver foliage

Verbena bonariense - I.LOVE.THIS.PLANT

June 2013 - the trees in the pots are Liquidamber Gumball.
(Shows Firepit area in the back left - silver mounds).

Told you the chequerboard paving was great! Looking towards potager, from
the house, Feb 2012

Iris and strawberries bordering the path behind V.

Feb 2012 and Versailles is brimming over with exhuberant planting!

Yellows and creams around the future fire pit area
Originally intended as a fire pit area, this garden uses lots of textural silvers and blues to
try and link the  very  'busy' Versailles with the more muted style of the front gardens. 

The meandering path out to the clothesline. No boring straight lines around here!
Feb 2012. Versailles in the background.

It is amazing to think that in 2009, this entire house and garden was an Olive tree orchard!!

AND THEN - HOMESTYLE NEW ZEALAND Aug/Sept 2011 issue, pages 90-95

Fittingly, the house and garden was featured in this great new NZ mag, along with the very talented owners. The photos are gorgeous, of course, but only show a couple of the garden areas. Remember - the garden is less than a year old in these photos!! Just goes to show what can be acheived with strategic planting.