— Mount Albert, Auckland
On Owairaka, sitting high on the ridge of the maunga, the owners of this newly renovated historic house were looking for a striking garden to match the beautiful architecture of their home.
Two unique curved, raised areas at the front of the house provided the perfect space for garden, with rich volcanic, free-draining soil and a sunny North facing outlook. The concept design proposed replacing what was lawn with a New Zealand take on a Dutch Wave classic.
Inspired by the altitude and open nature of the site, the design looked to recreate the feel of an alpine tussock with hardy native grasses, which were then interspersed with sweeps of brightly flowering perennials. The façade of the house is covered in a distinctive curved red brick, thus tones in the plants were chosen accordingly: rich cerise, dark burgundy, soft pale pinks and rusty foliage complement the materiality of the architecture.
The planting at the front is viewed in a unique way for such a garden; at eye level from the driveway, with the bank looming overhead, and from a birds-eye view from the second-story balcony above, flattening the landscape and revealing both patterning and randomness in the planting.
The clients wonderful idea of magenta bougainvillea by the entrance mirrors the architectural detail of rain chains, as well as appealing to her love of deep pink flowers; a nod to the classic planting styles of the suburb.
Movement and seasonality are important, with new iterations of the planting scheme popping up each year, the plants swaying together with the breeze in a way that is evocative of a more wild maunga.
Achillea ‘Salmon Beauty’, Anemanthele lessioniana (Hunangāmoho), Apodismia similis (Oioi), Armeria maritima, Bougainvillea 'Scarlet O'Hara', Chionochloa flavicans (Toetoe), Chionochloa rubra, Cosmos atrosanguineus, Echinacea purpurea, Gaura ‘Sparkle White’, Geranium 'Pink Spice', Lupinus 'The Pages', Muehlenbeckia astonii (Shrubby tororaro), Parthenocissus quinquefolia, Pimelia prostrata, Thymus pseudolanuginosus,
Owairaka (Mount Albert)