Diane Beddison’s private garden is a beautiful garden built around the existing mature trees and shrubs inherited from the former garden and complements the historic Victorian brick home it surrounds.
With many established trees in and around the garden, plus shrubs and smaller trees, there are many different micro-climates throughout the garden. The northern side of the house is shaded from the summer sun by lovely old English Oaks and a Chinese Elm. These are under-planted with shade-tolerant species including Camellia, Ruscus, Clivia, Ginger, Roldana Petasis, Azalea, New Zealand Lily (Arthropodium cirratum) and Hellebores.
Design is sympathetic to the architecture of the home with strong geometric lines, capturing the eye with year-round variation in foliage and floral display. Deciduous trees and shrubs add autumn colour and Coral Bark Maples provide further seasonal interest with their bare red stems in winter. Japanese and English Box, Camellias, Vireya Rhododendron, Euphorbias, Lomandra, Beschenaria and large Salvias provide structure all year round. Plant diversity is an important feature of the garden, creating variation in texture, shape, colour and scent.
Diane has designed a contemporary and functional hard landscape for the front garden; formal in style, to complement the house. Sawn bluestone was chosen to match bluestone foundations and window sills on the house. While Japanese Boxprovides extra formality, the rest of the planting is soft and whimsical, using favourite shrubs and perennials.
Roses are a personal favourite of the owner and were chosen for their exquisite scent and for colour. They include Rosa ‘Best Friend’, R. ‘St. Cecilia’, R. ‘Henre Matisse’, R. ‘Blackberry Nip’, R. ‘Munstead Wood’ and R. ‘Mr. Lincoln’. Soft pink, almost white, standard Rosa ‘Seafoam’ provides balance between the pastel and hotter coloured roses. Viburnum opulus ‘Notcutt’s Variety’ and Viburnum sargentii ‘Onondaga’ screen the south fence and are complemented by an old Wisteria sinensis.
Roses and other shrubs are under planted with Salvia, Flag Iris (Iris germanica), Butterfly Bush (Gaura), Daisies, Sea Lavender (Limonium perezzii), Sedum Matrona, Geranium, Aquilegia, Helleborus, Carpet Bugle (Ajuga reptans), Catmint (Nepeta x faassenii) and early spring bulbs. Salvias were introduced in response to the drought and include Salvia ‘Black and Blue’, Salvia ‘Indigo Spires’, Salvia gregii ‘Raspberry Royal’, Salvia gregii ‘Heatwave Blaze’, Salvia greggii ‘Alba’ and Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’.
Camellia sasanqua ‘Asakura’ was selected to screen the driveway fence and complement the Camellia sasanqua ‘Beatrice Emily’ growing alongside the house.
The rear garden displays a more relaxed style, using simple natural materials and plants to create structure. It was redesigned and rebuilt in stages and was completed this year. At the rear of the garden, existing slate paving was extended and recycled. The grey slate was complemented by the use of cost effective Lilydale toppings and bluestone block edging. Light coloured sandstone pavers were chosen to brighten the outdoor dining area under the large Oak.
Garden areas include an outdoor dining area under the canopy of an Oak, a woodland area with Japanese Maples, garden beds of ornamental pears, shrubs and perennials, a small productive area, and semi-secluded niches for relaxation and reflection.
Year round structure is provided by Japanese and English Box, Camellias, Beschenarias, Rhododendron, espaliered Citrus and Salvias. Vireya Rhododendron enjoy the conditions here. The garden is transformed in spring when deciduous trees and shrubs come to life. These include a central Ginkgo biloba, Pyrus calleryana, Acer palmatum ‘Sango kaku’, A. palmatum ‘Osakazuki’, Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’, Lagerstroemia indica, Hydrangea species and climbing roses.
Perennials and biennials add interest and colour. These include Achillea ‘Terracotta’, Ladies mantle (Alchemilla mollis), Lady’s Bonnet (Aquilegia vulgaris), Windflower (Anemone x hybrid), NZ Lily (Arthopodium cirratum ), Foxgloves (Digitalis), Lenten rose (Helleborus hybridus), Heuchera, Liriope muscari ‘Samantha’, Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum x hybridum) and Velthemia capensis.
A small area is set aside for edible plants including espaliered Citrus, herbs and fruit and vegetables. Perennial edibles such as Bronze Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’), Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus), Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) and Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) are inter-planted with annuals and flowers to attract beneficial insects.
garden will continue to grow and evolve for years to come as the younger plants