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The plants on this windswept, hillside property have taken on the elements  and won

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Formal parterre garden with urn and box hedging, overlooking sea.

When you live in the teeth of a roaring southerly you learn to adapt, especially if you're a keen gardener. Plants are chosen not just for their beauty, but for their ability to withstand the elements. The creation of sheltered areas is also a key aspect of landscaping in such a location.

These concepts were put into practice with the garden featured on these pages. But right from the outset, the owner says, she didn't want the climate to restrict her desire for a formal garden at the entrance to the house despite the fact that this area was exposed to strong winds.

The solution was to use the right plants and the services of the professionals, she says. Landscape designer Prue Stannard designed a formal parterre garden, chosen to reflect the Italianate look of the house.

This garden features hardy box hedging, interspersed with white carpet roses, which can withstand the wind. At one end of the parterre are white Rugosa roses, Blanc Double de Colbert, also chosen for their hardy nature. Large existing conifers not only provide some shelter for this garden but also add to the lush green look of the entrance.


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Large urn features on boxed hedge base on gravel path, with green plants in background.

In keeping with the simple, green-and-white theme, clusters of white thyme, white alyssum and the white-leafed Artemisia Powis Castle soften the edge of the gravel pathway.

A central urn, bordered by box hedging marks the intersection of two paths. At one side, a bank of Euphorbia Wulfenii provides a lush, lime-green backdrop.

Moving around the house, the garden becomes less formal, and more exposed to the southerly gales that whip up from the harbour. Here, steps lead from a small lawn near the house to a larger expanse of lawn, bordered with plants.

White agapanthus line the brick steps, while a variety of conifers and flax bushes at the back of the border provide shelter from the wind. Interspersed between these are rhododendrons and azaleas, which add a riotous pink colour in winter and spring. Smaller perennials in the foreground include white carnations and white Stachys lanata (lambs' ears). On one side of the garden, white rosemary and Mexican orange blossom provide another hardy, sheltering border.

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Native plants on slope of hill.

The formality finishes at the end of the lawn, where the property drops down a cliff face. This is planted with hardy New Zealand native trees and bushes, including a variety of grasses, hebes, Marlborough daisies and rengarenga lillies.

To the right of this area, the owner has created a colourful garden room, where bright orange and red colours dominate.

Story by: Trendsideas

03 May, 2003

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