Portfolio

Tropical Pool, Otaihanga

The owner of this rural property wanted a tropical holiday atmosphere for the new swimming pool and surrounding gardens and entertaining areas. The paddock out in front of the house was set aside for the development and a large overgrown and leaking pond was unceremoniously removed along with a few shelterbelt trees which were blocking sun and light to the area. The space was sheltered by surrounding trees, creating a microclimate suitable for the kind of palms etc which the client had his heart set on, but I was surprised how well these truly tropical species have established and grown. The palms and other lush-foliaged plants surround the pool and courtyard and create a real “tropical escape” atmosphere. The new pool is framed by generous hardwood decking areas on 3 sides and the fourth side features a retained edge which drops away giving open views...
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Waikanae

This redesign of an existing garden and pool was primarily concerned with improving the flow from the house out into the garden and creating a flexible range of outdoor living areas for family use and entertaining for large groups of friends. Previously the drive ran right through the garden next to the house – and cut the pool off from the garden. Also the house was about a metre off the ground and therefore felt isolated from the garden. The clients fortunately agreed to take the important first steps of rerouting the driveway to  the outside of the garden and raising the lawn to reduce the drop from floor level. Several generous sets of steps were included off the verandah and hedging around the base provides a soft yet defined edge. A large pergola provides semi-sheltered access from the parking area to the front door, and...
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Mosaic Pool

  This pool and garden was of necessity located on a newly-acquired section on the south side of the house. The design needed to strengthen the linkages to the house and also re-orientate the area to the north. This was done with a new garage with a poolhouse attached and substantial planting which created a strong southern edge. The poolhouse faces northwest and also provides handy facilities – a bar, kitchen and casual lounge –  and a “2nd home” for the summer months. Two matching pebble-and-tile mosaics create dramatic features in and out of the pool. The pool is a delicious deep, soft blue  colour from the custom-made fibreglass lining and a waterline tile strip which further enhances the colour and is a feature in itself. The whole pool area looks out over the fence and planting into the garden beyond which is an eclectic mix of flowering exotic colour...
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Porthole Pool

This pool makes use of an old tennis court behind the house which was raised about a metre above house floor level. Being situated on the east side of the house it made sense to keep the area raised to allow the afternoon summer sun to come over the house. The clients wanted to feel like they were on holiday with their new pool environment so a semi-resort atmosphere was required – notwithstanding the limitations set by our Wellington climate! The planting, materials and the sheltered, sun-trap orientation have all helped to create this.  The levels were adjusted to maintain a 1.2m wall between the house and the pool – this became the pool “fence”. In order to highlight the existence of the pool from the courtyard below, a large porthole window has been created in the pool wall, giving those in the courtyard an...
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Resort Style

The American-style woodland garden is the inspiration for this garden. The client’s love of this style fortunately fitted well with the climatic conditions of this site – reasonably sheltered with cold winters and warm summers. The brief was to create “a resort in our back yard”! So a pool, poolhouse, tennis court and spa were included as well as the complete layout of driveway, entrance, vege gardens, lawns, woodland walkways, boardwalks etc. The seasonal change in this garden is spectacular and will continue to improve as the garden matures. The client’s love of conifers was also catered for and the effect is very successful with the contrast between solidity and transparency of foliage and form.   The client says: “Rebecca has helped transform a farm field into a beautifully classic garden that is a joy to be in. There are different zones to enjoy that...
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Treetops Pool

These clients love space! The problem was that the best, most sheltered part of the garden - and the area best connected to the house - didn’t look big enough for their taste. The lawn fell away into a small gully only a few metres from the house.  I have always loved those tropical treehouse type designs which have decks, complete with spas and pools, suspended in space and surrounded by the tree canopy. I suggested we could do a similar thing here, and they eventually agreed. The pool is built as far away from the house as possible, but still with the base (2 metres down) on solid ground with the far side built up against a retaining wall. The deck extends the space on three sides of the pool (one end housing the pool cover)and the main sundeck is suspended out over the gully woodland area and into the tree canopy. This has worked extremely...
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Glasshouse pool

This property, a lifestyle block in Pauatahanui, is elevated with great views over the surrounding countryside… but the wind really hits the garden and the thought of investing in a pool which was too cold and windy to enjoy was too much to cope with. The pool was located around the back of the house on the east side so the house provides some protection. The northerly winds are kept out of the area with a glass “wall” which also doubles as a safety fence, and this end of the pool is also covered by a glazed pergola to ensure the wind carries on over the roofline rather than dumping down into the pool courtyard. The whole area is remarkably sheltered and is now the main focus for family outdoor living. The pool features a waterfall and a curved bay at both ends, one of which...
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Cliff-Edge Pool

This pool, sited on an extremely small, steep site, required a simple clean-lined design to sit easily beside the contemporary style home and maximise the feeling of space. The spectacular view to the harbour is made especially dramatic with the “infinity” pool edge that curves out to meet the sea - a waterfall spills over the entire curved edge creating a dramatic feature for the house entrance below and bringing attention to the pool above. The courtyard, cut into the bank, is backed by curved retaining walls which continue the curve of the pool.  Terraced gardens lead up to a casual, more rustic lookout sitting area at the top corner of the property.   Tweet...
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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...
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Martinborough Tradition

The owners of this established garden had purchased a large empty paddock next door, and the challenge was to develop the new garden areas as a natural continuation of the existing garden. The driveway was rerouted to make full use of the new area and also to reduce the impact of the existing driveway which cutt off the existing house and garden from the proposed garden extension. The existing drive avenue was instead developed as a formal pedestrian entrance, making use of the existing planting and structures. The new garden areas employ traditional formal garden design elements to draw the eye down the various view shafts and lure visitors into the garden from the cottage. A water feature with a rill leading to the sunken garden and a growing arbor formed by trained Lime trees (Linden) create interesting focal points and give structure to a young but rapidly establishing extension to...
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