Garden design ideas: an entry with a sense of welcome and progression

larnach castle garden tended.wordpress.com

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.

larnach castle garden tended.wordpress.com

Eventually, you make your way back to these very informal perennial gardens.

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Tough and beautiful: the gardens at New Zealand’s Larnach Castle

larnach castle garden, new zealand tended.wordpress.com

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

  1. Palette: orange, yellow, purple, burgundy, black, silver and green.
  2. Winding crushed stone paths create structure and force garden visitors to slow down and enjoy the gardens.
  3. Place plants slightly closer together than their full size. This gives a lush look and you won’t need to prune.
  4. There is some layering going on here – you can see that the Iris are not blooming yet.
  5. 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).

larnach castle garden, new zealand tended.wordpress.com

larnach castle garden, new zealand tended.wordpress.com

larnach castle garden, new zealand tended.wordpress.com

Garden ideas: tropical plants in traditional gardens

tropicals in a traditional garden tended.wordpress.com

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:

Canna
Brugmansia
Zantedeschia (calla lily)
Strelitzia (birds of paradise)
Crocosima
Eryngum
Acanthus
Kniphofia
Agapanthus
Phormium

Vines:
Passiflora
Mandevillia
Campsis (trumpet vine)
Bougainvillea

Trees:
Palms
Citrus
Loquat
Banana

Above is the Larnach Castle garden in Dunedin, New Zealand. Below are two of the cottages at the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.

tropical cottage garden tended.wordpress.com

tropical cottage garden tended.wordpress.com

tropical cottage garden tended.wordpress.com