Tag Archives: Dahlia gardens

A Pick and Mix Summer Garden

If you only like green and white gardens, look away now, because what we have here in this garden overlooking Wellington Harbour is a riotous celebration of colour, in a palette that perfectly complements the bold tones of the mid-century house. ‘I love my dahlias’, the client told me when I first visited 4 years ago. And so I designed a garden that would give her better space to grow them, in a way that could be appreciated not only from the street, and every time they turn into their drive, but from their upstairs living areas as well (when they’re not enjoying the stunning harbour views beyond!)

The tree at the right with the lovely lime leaves is Cercis chinensis ‘Hearts of Gold’
As it was four years ago.

Dwarf columnar apple trees underplanted with arctotis line both sides of the driveway, and there are flourishing feijoas, lemons, and limes.

New tiered planter boxes were built, and painted a rich chocolate brown colour taken from the bricks of the house. This was also applied to the fences.

The side garden was dark and damp, so it was cleared out and a new planting of moisture-loving Nyssa sylvatica trees went in.

The overgrown side garden four years ago.
The side garden now, with Nyssa trees and underplantings. The dahlias have made their way up here as well.
Before: the back courtyard
The back courtyard today

This is a garden that brings joy to the owners, and to their friends and neighbours. It celebrates summer. I love the bold exuberance of the planting, and how the design shows what can be done with a mid-century suburban site.