Archive of ‘Outside’ category

Putting the front garden back in

The biggest thing I wanted to change about our home as soon as I saw it was the frontage. The previous owners had removed the garden and replaced it with bricks (for parking reasons apparently!) and so the house seemed very abrupt against the road, and really did need some softening around the edges. It was a shame really, as the back of the section had been lovingly landscaped, so it did look a bit unfinished.

What we started with

Not a very good picture I know – but the other I had was super grainy. We get a lot of sun out the front in the morning, and a lot of shade in the afternoon – so picking the right moment to photograph it all was quite hard!

What’s actually missing from the below above are the big green planters I put on either side of the door which contained grassy flax. These will now be re-homed on our back deck. Do note the beautiful green reserve behind us (with large spiders lurking), and my lovely bright red door.

The plan

Being a designer, I am a sticker for symmetry. There has always been something in me that has craved a tidy, symmetrical box hedge so this seemed like the perfect time to bust it out. Hydrangeas are also a favourite – we have the most immense blue ones at the bottom of our property which  seem like they flower forever. And to balance out the mix and complement the door? Red camellias. Now we know they will work in the high-wind zone that is our house (and basically all of the city!) as they are very popular on our street.

Here is what I planned using a free online interactive gardening tool. It took me 10 minutes, and is great if you don’t feel like a scribble can do your new garden plan justice!

At the top of my drawing we have the house itself, with concrete steps in the middle leading down to a front pebbled area. Box hedge surrounds the garden which has been mulched, and each side features a red camellia, and white hydrangea. I also left space on the right for the letterbox!

The brick-fest

So, a couple of weeks ago we decided enough was enough and we got our shovels and spades out and had a bit of a brick-festival. After pulling out 400 or so bricks and discovering one very large worm, off we went toPalmers Garden Centre to get our plants, and a trailer for our top-soil and mulch.

Once we had laid out the mulch evenly, we set about placing the plants in their required spots. The guys got busy with the spades, and I helped, making sure everything was symmetrical with my very particular eye!

After about half a day of productive work, we finally had it all finished and it looked awesome. All we need to do now is replace the stones in front of the steps with some kind of easy paving (we’re thinking of busting thisawesome system out) and paint the letterbox!

The finished new garden entrance

We’re so happy with how this project turned out, and it has improved our homes’ curb appeal tenfold. Now to get in the routine of watering the plants every day, and willing all the hedges to grow super fast so they actually resemble what I covet!

Has anyone been busy in the garden over January? Nothing like a little bit of hard labour in the sunshine to get your vitamin D!

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Just add sunshine

The other weekend we travelled up North to the beautiful Hawkes Bay with some of our lovely friends, to spend three days taking in the sights and sounds of Napier and its surrounding towns. So far Wellington has been a bit dismal, but man, Napier was stunning! We had highs of 24 degrees, and spent a lot of our time outside enjoying the much-needed balmy sunshine.

Of course we went here…

The batch we stayed in had a wonderfully sunny patio area, where we dragged the cane furniture outside and draped ourselves over it for maximum relaxation. It got me thinking about what accessories are required for a beautiful outdoor setting, and so I thought i’d show you some things i’ve found recently.

1. Pottery Barn Palmetto Egg Chair 2. Freedom Paradiso Cushion 3. Freedom Macrame Pot Hanger 4. Freedom Summer Pineapple 5. Ezibuy Solar Light Chain 6. Shangri La Drink Dispenser 7. Freedom Citrus Coasters

Oh I crave that egg chair! (What is it with me and outdoor chair cravings?!) Too bad it is from a while back so it will never be in my possession. I’m such a fan of bright and quirky for the outdoors, and the items above are no exception.

Freedom has a great range this year (as per usual) but I think the only thing i’ll splash out on this year are the fairy lights.. always a crowd favourite! We have plans to build a pergola over our large deck eventually, and these would loop over it perfectly. I’m thinking solar lights, some climbing wisteria… and maybe a spa… i’ll keep dreaming!

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Adirondack chairs

Our weekend purchase for the balcony in time for Summer… i’m looking forward to sunshine, sangria and snoozing on my new white Adirondacks!


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