Entering the gardens at Larnach Castle in Dunedin New Zealand. You pass through formal, structured beds and containers, but already you can see the curving path and looser plantings beckoning.
Eventually, you make your way back to these very informal perennial gardens.
This is one of the gardens at Larnach Castle in Dunedin, New Zealand – but it could almost be here in Northern California. Everything here is beautiful, tough, low maintenance, and drought tolerant.
GET THIS GARDEN
- Palette: orange, yellow, purple, burgundy, black, silver and green.
- Winding crushed stone paths create structure and force garden visitors to slow down and enjoy the gardens.
- Place plants slightly closer together than their full size. This gives a lush look and you won’t need to prune.
- There is some layering going on here – you can see that the Iris are not blooming yet.
- Plants (sorry, I don’t have a full plant list from this garden!): Cordyline, Heuchera, Chocolate cosmos, Cinquefoil (potentilla), Coreopsis, Iris, Asiatic lily, Cineraria senicio, Artemesia, Alstromeria, Geum, Echinacea, Stipa gigantea, Rudebeckia, Podocarpus, Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).
Tropical plants aren’t just for mediterranean or modern houses. Tropicals can work in any garden setting. The Victorians were passionate about tropical plants and used them in their traditional style gardens to great effect. So much more interesting than a purely tropical garden (which can look a little ‘hotel’ if you’re not careful) or an English style border.
These are all easy to grow in the bay area:
Zantedeschia (calla lily)
Strelitzia (birds of paradise)
Campsis (trumpet vine)
Above is the Larnach Castle garden in Dunedin, New Zealand. Below are two of the cottages at the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.