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Nelson, 1999

The owners of this beautiful home, undertook massive renovations to return this house to it’s original glory.

The gardens were almost unusable, and the ground sloped steeply down from the front of the house. I wanted to create a flat lawn area that the children could play on, as well as areas for gardens typical of that early settler period. Those choosing New Zealand as their new home, usually combined native species with plants from their country of origin. They always had productive fruit trees and a vegetable garden.

We constructed a retaining wall to contain the new lawn, and built stone walls and steps to `anchor’ the house to the site. A pergola was constructed along the path, to support the glorious wisteria which was already a sizeable plant. The pergola was immediately painted a matt black, to give it `age’ and help it recede from the eye.

Buxus and Lonicera nitida was used as structural evergreen hedging. `Cottage’ style gardens were planted around the lawn area, with the hope that they’d be full of flowers, perfume and colour year-round. Recently the garden in front of the verandah has had a `freshen up’ as some of the original plants had passed their `use by date’.

A native plant walk was planted around the retaining wall, and the vegetable gardens are close to the kitchen, at the rear of the home.

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