Friday, 29 May 2009

Revamping Existing Gardens

Existing gardens can sometimes appear more daunting than a new garden with a blank slate. However, if you can look beyond the obvious and find the parts of the garden that work, they often have good 'bones' which can provide the initial structure and inspiration to smarten up an otherwise uninspiring outdoor space.


The above garden had great 'bones' with a stream running through the centre of the property - however the house felt completely detached from it. We broadened the steps and continued them to the waters edge to provide connection to the stream. We also replaced worn pavers with coloured concrete with decorative cuts to give a greater feeling of space and a more modern look. To create a reason to visit the rest of the clients garden, we designed a pergola over the bridge (painted to give a lift). These simple changes, along with simplifying some of the planting, edging the gardens and painting the walls, transformed this garden into a attractive, usable space.


This next example of a revamped courtyard used raised macrocarpa retaining to define the area and establish a second level that linked the courtyard with the steep bank above. The retaining also provided additional seating for times when extra visitors are around.
Bold, simplistic planting creates a backdrop to the courtyard including evergreen magnolia, black flax and edging of tight green hebes giving year round colour. The planting is reversed in a garden opposite with silver foliaged astelia and green mossy scleranthus edged with deep red heuchera.
Natural materials such as macrocarpa, concrete pavers and gravel soften the formal layout of the courtyard and ensure it doesn’t look out of place in the natural setting of the surrounding landscape.


This last example, is a Wanaka holiday house where the client wanted to create an outdoor living area where they could spill onto when there house was full for the summer holidays. The client loved colour and bold lines.
We created a series of circular areas of lawn and concrete for outdoor living. A curved (purple) block wall retains the garden behind the courtyard and creates both seating and a feature wall to frame this area.
We used the doors of the house to align with focal points using gravel and sleeper ground surfacing that lead to a feature tree. The client provided us with old farm posts which we staggered amongst the planting in a sculptural fashion. Finally, a broad pathway of insitu concrete with gravel border created a bold entrance to the property.

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