Portfolio

Makara Magic

Since moving to MakaraBeach in 2008 Rebecca has been taught a thing or two about wind! Extreme winds and driving salt storms lash this little beach village frequently. Rebecca has managed to create a charming and dramatic beach garden which defies the local sceptics who assured her that gardening in such extreme conditions was just not possible. Basing her scheme on the traditional medieval “Paradise Garden” as a safe garden retreat protected from external hazards ( in this case more of nature than marauding armies!) the garden relies on a series of wind screens, roofed areas and tough peripheral planting to allow her to grow a surprising range of native and exotic plants. A dramatic covered deck and a series of coloured tile and mosaic courtyards provide sheltered outdoor living areas in most weather conditions. Built by: Rebecca Wilson and Colin Grimwood   Tweet...
Read more  

State House “Gone Troppo”!

This bungalow was renovated in a unique style by the previous owners under the guidance and inspiration of architect John Mills. The garden takes its cue from the wonderfully quirky details on the house. A daring paint palette inside the house and interesting paving details outside add drama and colour to balance the predominantly green, highly textural planting scheme. Sweeping forms in the paving, intercepted by large river boulders create a welcoming entranceway with intriguing glimpses to the colourful entrance steps and gardens beyond.  The garden has changed hands since it’s inception but the new owner has embraced it’s character with full enthusiasm and has made it her own, managing the development of the planting with great expertise and a wonderful eye for form, colour and texture.  When this happens the designer can step back and just enjoy the developing scene!               Tweet...
Read more  

Heart Of The Beachfront

The owner of this beach-house is a very keen gardener and was keen to create a variety of spaces for plants and intimate areas for sitting within the gardens. The  heart-shaped layout creates several small usable areas for sitting out in a variety of conditions/seasons etc and creates interesting spaces for planting. The garden has also spilt out onto the road reserve where it provides a wonderful feature at the end of this quiet street. The client says: “I had the house ‘rearranged’ for an indoor – outdoor flow, but outdoors was not cooperating.  The garden had rather an old-fashioned look and the seafront I soon discovered, was not the place to grow a luscious lawn. To me, the foundation of any good garden is the design, especially for a small one, which can be very unforgiving if the proportions are not just right.  I didn’t have the courage...
Read more  

Rustic Textures

This is the internal courtyard of a very groovy architecturally-designed house set on a hilltop in Wairarapa. It makes maximum use of texture as a response to the clients’ love of texture – she is a textile designer. Rustic, locally sourced materials make reference to the rural location and give an informal flavor to the simple hard-edged design.         Tweet...
Read more  

Wild Tiles

This beachfront property, graced with a wonderful new home by architect Roger Walker, has two distinct sides – the beach frontage with the lap pool, deck, and rustic timber details, and the ‘inland” entrance garden area which presents a more sheltered, lush face to the street. The front door is located half way down the narrow southern side of the house but the design makes this a fun journey.  The broken tile detail in the drive leads to the dramatic foliage-inspired gate by John Calvert. The tile path continues to meander in sinuous curves to the bright red front door, passing intriguing views into a private courtyard on the way. The front garden forms the foreground to the harbour and beach. The deck features another piece by John Calvert – a rustic seat, again inspired by native plant forms. Planting is tough enough to withstand...
Read more  

Garage Rooftop Garden

An ugly garage roof sitting about 3/4 of a metre above the surrounding lawn dominated the front garden area of this bungalow – and being the north-west side of the property this seemed like a wasted space for the owner. We designed a tiled rooftop terrace and linked this to the house with decking and timber steps up to the rooftop area. As this area had good views we were reluctant to block these with shelter planting and screens despite the exposed, windy conditions. We have created a second, sheltered “nook” below the deck which has views into the garden and makes good use of this small, tucked away spot. Tweet...
Read more  

Inner City Rooftop

A semi-enclosed deck area is the focal point of this inner city appartment – 2 sides open from the living and dining areas of the apartment. The client wanted a lush, sheltered garden ”escape” in the Balinese style, quite a challenge for a top-storey apartment in Wellington! Also she was determined to have a lawn – and she now has one, all of 4 m2… this tiny but valuable carpet of green is the centrepiece for this little garden and is raised to allow soil beneath. A roofed pergola helps create a hot-house environment and the planters and climbing plants over the pergola and screens provide lush surroundings complemented by the Balinese Daybed along one side.  Extra shelter is available if needed with roll-down PVC screens from the pergola beam, but with the roofed pergola and the permanent climbing screens at each end it is hoped this is not really needed. Tweet...
Read more  

Australian Beachhouse

This rustic and delightful house belongs to my sister and her family on the coast south of Geelong in Victoria. I was naturally asked to come up with some ideas for the garden and it is a fun process watching the garden evolve – and helping to build bits of it whilst on ‘holiday”! There are some lovely details here worth sharing, built entirely by the very creative family who also built all the renovations to the house, including an entire floor on top of the old council house. An old garage on the north side was removed to allow the driveway area to be developed for outdoor living and garden space. A new garage and parking area was created on the south side of the house. The first stage of a substantial deck has been completed. This enlarges the living area of the lower floor and is roofed...
Read more  

Lush Coastal

  Eastbourne Beachfront This property fronts onto Eastbourne waterfront and also looks back towards the bush clad hills just one block away to the east. Whilst the aim of the garden on the seaward side was to provide an effective foreground to the open harbour views, the inland garden area warranted a totally different approach. The clients were open about their lack of skills but were very enthusiastic in their desire to celebrate both sides of their special property. The beachside garden incorporated enlarged and reshaped decks to encourage more use of this area, and reworked planting to better emphasise the coastal location. A beautiful steel and stone gate by artist John Calvert graces the widened entrance to the beach, and the client’s brother carved the wonderful seaweed- inspired posts. The fence of slate-blue colour steel and railway sleepers provides privacy and shelter for the...
Read more  

Beachside Oasis

This was Rebecca Wilson’s previous garden, and it celebrates its beachside setting in flamboyant style! Only a 300m2 site but a variety of outdoor living areas are created, each with a distinct atmosphere. Hand-crafted details in the mosaic work add colour and personality offset by lush, predominantly native coastal planting.                   Tweet...
Read more