Landscaper Profile series: Balancing soft and hard materials in the landscape.
The modern urban garden is undergoing a re-think as the priorities of owners change according to the way they live. In these gardens, landscaped by Rochford Landscapes to plans by Shafer Design Studio, we see a mix of soft and hard surfaces with planting in and around paths and seating areas, while swimming pools add a cooling effect during our hot Auckland summers.
With pebbles, wooden sleepers, Garden Mix and mulches supplied by Central Landscapes Warkworth, these gardens have established quickly and successfully to become delightful areas enjoyed by the owners.
Embedded concrete (poured on site) contrasts with the soft brown to grey tones of popular Waikato Fleck pebbles and adds some structure and interest to the area.
Larger concrete squares and rectangles have been used in this garden to enable access around the extensive vegetable garden of raised beds.
The offset placement and random sizing breaks up a large area and plant borders around the concrete ‘green’ the area.
Planting in gravel areas adds to the looser, relaxed look of modern gardens. Pebbles and stones act as mulch for plants to cope with summer heat, reducing the need for water.
Using Trustwood sleepers to ensure longevity of the timber, these raised beds have been constructed to a comfortable height when harvesting vegetables.
Currently awaiting the planting of winter crops, this family was fed mostly from these beds over summer, because the soil was warm and accessible to sun to encourage plant growth.
Seating offers a chance to rest in the sunny part of the garden and the corten firepit is a decorative feature even when unlit. Corten steel is a great tonal match for macrocarpa and the Waikato Fleck pebbles.
Pools with naturalistic planting are a nod to the swimming holes and ponds in a country setting. Placing these pools out of the ground allows them to float amongst the plants and reflective surfaces add interesting shapes.
Rochford Landscapes is owned by Todd Rochford and is based in Rodney Auckland.