A new architecturally designed house sits on a 383m2 section, dropping 6m over 24m, overlooking Kaka Point out towards Nugget Point lighthouse. With the house and deck taking up 112m,2 plus some serious retaining, you might think it didn’t leave a lot for the landscaping.
But at Neville Stewart Landscaping we turn negatives into positives and on this property found secret vistas and created new garden spaces that maximised the small space. Our design for the landscaping reflected this.
The outlook from the deck was an uninviting, difficult to access corner over which the neighbouring house dominated. But the spot affords stunning views across the Kaka Point beach and shoreline towards Nugget Point with the lighthouse in the distance.
On our client’s wish-list were taking as much advantage of the sun as possible, easy access, space for a spa pool and washing line, and an easy-care, low maintenance garden.
The design includes a series of steps up around the house to the deck. From there steps connect to the top of the section where the spa pool will sit. Two more sitting and viewing spaces were created to make the most of the views and a walkway takes you to another more intimate view of the local beach and Kaka Point community.
The driveway entrance includes a curved shaped drive/garden to direct parking in front of the lower studio. Between the parking is a garden which we planted with local natives including two Podocarpus golden totara underplanted with local coprosma rhamnoides, renga renga lilies, Chatham Island forget me not and dwarf phormium (flax) Emerald Green. The plants will fill the garden, provide great ground cover and reduce weeds and maintenance. Low gabion baskets provide a strong visual barrier without acting as a screen.
At the top of the section we used red tussocks, Astelia nervosa ‘Mountain Flax’. The shade provided by the retaining gave us the opportunity to plant our NZ icon plant Cyanthea dealbata “Silver Fern’ along with Pseudowintera colorata Horopito which will fill the dark spaces. Other screen plants include Pittosporum ‘Stephens Island’, Melicytus lanceolatus, Myrsine australis and corokia species. Lancewoods and Sophora microphylla Southern Kowhai along with the Golden Totara give accent and add to the vertical dimension of the section and the plantings.
The fencing used is macrocarpa of variable widths giving depth and contrast to an otherwise potentially bland and unattractive barrier.
As the project was outside our Dunedin base, we used a local builder and their team. We worked together on arranging and holding site meetings, communicating with project members and the client, with the labouring team assisting with construction of retaining and steps, and delivery of materials such as rock for the gabion baskets.
Our client was thrilled and knocked out by the end result which created a home away from home and a place they could enjoy working from remotely.