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From Habitat magazine - issue 09

An exposed expanse of lawn on this lifestyle property cries out for some designer attention.

This lifestyle property near the city is a busy home to a family with children and pets. While there are French doors leading off the old villa onto the north-facing lawn, access is not easy. The rickety timber steps lead directly on to the lawn so dirt is easily tracked inside and the lawn can easily become muddy. There is also no overhead cover.

Lifestyle property

Although mature trees surround the house and garden, little else has been planted, and this area is very exposed to the wind.

The owners would desperately like a sheltered outdoor living area, with serviceable paving underfoot. The area needs more structure and access to and from the house needs to be improved.

Lifestyle property garden
Lifestyle property garden
Before: Exposed and windy, no outdoor living areas, barren and characterless.

We asked landscape designers Tania Barke and Sam Lockie to come up with a makeover scheme for the garden. While both enclosed the space – one with tall hedging and the other with a wall – the looks are quite different.

Scroll to view Tania’s walled Mediterranean garden and for Sam’s contemporary but classic solution, complete with swimming pool.

Advertising feature

soft lavender shades and rambling gardens are evocative of the Mediterranean

Tania Barke of Through the Garden Gate Landscape Design, suggests this Mediterranean-inspired solution:

Advertising feature 1

Creating a walled garden provides protection from strong winds and gives a more comfortable, intimate space. Painted in pretty lavender and inset with purple backlit glass blocks the Stevenson’s block wall has a wooden door set into it to add a sense of mystery, while maintaining good flow around the property. The large area is sloped so can be split in two with Stevenson Ezi Wall, and paved in Veneto pavers, colour Grigio. The strong lines of the garden are off-set by informal planting including rambling pink carpet roses, thyme groundcover and low kaffir lime hedges. Predominant colours in the garden are pink, purple, silver and greens. The lines of the French doors are repeated in the circular columns supporting one side of the pergola, tying both sides of the garden together.

mobile: 027 287 8592   email:

Accessories: Stevenson Ezi Wall, Stevenson Veneto pavers in colour Grigio, from Stevenson. Olive pot, from Phoenix Italia. Hollywood Juniper ‘Kaizuka’. Carpet rose. Illustration: Bruce Bryant.

Advertising feature

crisp lines and highly usable outdoor areas will make summer living a pleasure

Sam Lockie from Landscape Transformations proposes this alternative scheme:

Advertising feature 2

Strong structural elements help draw the living space out into the landscape of this large property. The fireplace and large cabana cover over a spa pool create areas that can be used in all seasons – the cabana could have zip-down PVC sides. Large hedging gives protection from prevailing winds and a sense of intimacy. Large Stevenson Veneto paver stepping-stones help provide interest without too much visual clutter. Pillar conifers or camellia topiary provide a tidy planting theme that also helps soften the otherwise hard structures such as pool fencing and paved areas. Large steps from the French doors give a more gentle transition from the house while small and simple pergolas off the house add interest.

phone: 09 480 8141   email:

Accessories: Stevenson Ezi Wallin colour Rock Salt, Stevenson Veneto paverin colour Bianco, from Stevenson. Custom-designed outdoor fireplace, from The Fireplace Ltd. Glass fences, from The Pool Fencing Company. Custom-built cabana, from Covercorp Limited. Illustration: Bruce Bryant.


‘Life outside’ is the name for Stevenson’s new showroom. Handily placed on the corner of Gillies Ave and Eden St in the busy shopping precinct of Newmarket, Auckland, the showroom has inspiring displays of Stevenson’s range of products. From masonry blocks to paving, styled concrete and garden edging, it’s all there.

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