The next instalment from Kowhai Thompson
Landscape Design Trends 2017
There are several key trends to be aware of in 2017, one of which is hyperlocalism. For a long time landscape architects and designers have been enjoying using NZ native plants in their designs. Natives are unique, beautiful, hardy and thrive in our soils. There is a growing trend towards hyperlocalism – using plants that are found only in very particular parts of New Zealand. So for example, there are some lovely plants in the Canterbury area such as the Canterbury Daisy – Olearia adenocarpa.
This wild, rambling shrub looks great in a large lifestyle garden and thrives on our shallow stony Canterbury soils. The local beach sedge Pingao is an unusual orange spiky plant that can be used in sandy, sunny spots. Even landscaping building materials are more and more being sourced locally. Port Hills basalt is a lovely product for dry stone walls. Waimakariri gravel and river stones have been popular for many years. Of course this trend saves on transport costs too.
House prices continue to increase and NZ backyards become smaller. People have less time to spend in the garden and less space too. So dwarf shrubs are solving the space issue. For example instead of the regular agapanthus there are several dwarf varieties that grow to about 40cm in height.
Agapanthus summer gold (pictured below) is a particular delight with beautiful striped yellow and white leaves. This is a real stunner in the fading afternoon sun. Another small shrub is the dwarf choysia (dwarf mexican orange blossom, pictured left). The full size shrub takes up a 2m x 2m space, however its dwarf version is a compact 1m x 1m – perfect for a hot sunny border under a window.
Go pint sized and make the most of your garden space.