An innovative outdoor feature wall in Mt Eden | Zones
Landscape Design

An innovative outdoor feature wall in Mt Eden

A feature wall, based on china plate designs, provided an attractive solution to an otherwise unattractive concrete garage.

  • Location: New Zealand
  • Date: 25 March 2019

WORDS Mina Phillips

Project budget: $85,000

Duration: 6 weeks

Owners had lived there: 25 years

Main materials used: Corten steel and resin set pebbles

Biggest challenge: “Making better use of the land to the west side of the house and ‘hiding’ the ugly concrete wall that is the side of a neighbour’s garage”

Best decision: “In the end I chose to go ahead with everything: replacing and extending the deck, replanting a lot of areas, getting new lawns, having the now beautiful feature wall installed, and re-locating the bins.”

It had been a long time since this Mt Eden home’s landscape had received a makeover. The garden was tired and the original design was less than ideal, especially the side view of the neighbours concrete garage. Zones landscaping specialist Kate Ryan met with the homeowner to discuss her ideas. The priorities, it was decided, would be revamping the garden, creating a new and innovative landscape design and replacing the pine deck and trellis.

“We came up with the idea to make the block wall a feature by using a specially designed laser cut screen, a design inspired from the homeowner’s collection of beautiful patterned china plates”, says Kate. “The wall was painted black and 3 large corten steel panels were attached, with spacing between for crossed foliage wires and climbing roses.”

With the side of the neighbours concrete garage utilised into what the homeowner now describes as a “beautiful feature wall”, Kate moved on to the landscape design. This included creating a secluded outdoor spa area.

“The spa pool was taking up room and we moved it to the side”, explains Kate. “We created a curved resin pebble area which now leads to the spa and the clothesline. It looks very striking!”

The deck was replaced and built larger, wrapping around the house to provide access to previously unused French doors. “This was an unused space and became an area for veggies and herbs, which we built into the deck with brick steppers”, tells Kate. “The deck has a wide step leading to the new lawn, making the space far more open and accessible.”

Recycled bricks were used to create a circular dining area on the lawn, which is surrounded by the new garden. An olive tree was removed, which provides the dining area with much more efficient lighting in the evenings.

Focusing on the garden design, Kate created a curved bed and began introducing a variety of plants.

“We planted colourful rust and white plants to contrast with the green existing dietes”, remembers Kate. “The front garden was cleared and refreshed with new planting. We also cleaned and re-sanded the brickwork. The whole section was worked on, in every corner!”

Kate’s client was more than happy with the final result.

“I am thrilled with it!” She states. “There is nothing I would do differently. I chose Zones initially because I loved the idea proposed for the ugly concrete wall. But Kate and her team were fantastic – always on time, professional, discussed the project regularly and made joint decisions. I would definitely recommend Zones to other people.”

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