Herne Bay Garden
— Herne Bay, Auckland
This project in Auckland’s Herne Bay was designed to achieve a beautiful and gentle garden space that enriches diversity and limits its footprint on the land.
The landscape weaves its way through the house, creating a secluded series of intimate courtyards and rooms. Each space creates views and intimacy from both inside the house and within the garden. The garden provides a counterpoint to the architecture with the use of soft organic forms, where eclectic combinations of plants come together to form a rich and diverse environment.
The planting is a changing but evergreen delight, with native New Zealand plants, blended with edibles, herbs, roses and tropicals. This pleasantly surprising plant palette draws on the tradition of the courtyard as an oasis of colour, scent and fruit.
Using this concept to allow a richer range of material than might traditionally be combined in a New Zealand garden, giving the sense that the space has been layered and gardened over time. With the aim to create this feeling of depth and timelessness that a personal garden captures so wonderfully; an elusive magic that a designer garden can sometimes fail to achieve.
Unexpected moments interrupt regular patterns in planting – an intricate rose flowering alongside the broad gesture of a large leaved tropical form – celebrating juxtapositions which humanise the garden.
Built elements in the garden also avoid straight lines, the soft organic materials providing a Yin to the clean architecture of the house’s Yang. Hard surfaces are replaced where possible with permeable materials, such as turf blocks to create a gentle and breathable landscape but allow vehicle access to parking and garaging. The selection of local stone allows the formation of complex organic shapes, offsetting the geometry of the spaces and covering impervious areas, while creating quiet opportunities for cracks and crevices for green to creep in.
Where the house opens out to connect with the sea, complexity is replaced with large, simple brushstrokes of natives common to the coastal harbour they sit beside. The individual is removed from the experience of the garden, now in a natural environment.
Alocasia gageana, Canna × ehemannii, Citrus spp., Coprosma ‘Poor Knights’ (Taupata), Leptinella dioca, Lobelia aberdarica, Heliconia spp., Hymenosporum ‘Gold Nugget’, Muehlenbeckia complexa (Pohuehue), Rhododendron ‘Fireglow’, Rosa ‘Pat Austin’, Selliera radicans (Remuremu), Trachelospermum jasminoides, Zephyranthes candida,