A hosting haven in Howick: Gardenias, guests & golf

Landscape design by Jane McGuffie, By Design Landscape Architects.

Nestled against the picturesque backdrop of East Auckland Bay, this Howick garden provides an idyllic setting for homeowners Roger and Robyn to host classic kiwi barbecues for their friends and family.

The Brief

The client, Robyn, once shared “the true mark of a successful garden design is when friends request to host their birthday parties there.” Entrusted with the task of bringing this sentiment to life, Jane McGuffie from By Design Landscape Architects set out to craft a space where this would become a reality.

With varying priorities from the homeowners – Robyn’s for a garden to nurture and spend her days in, and Roger more focused on creating the ultimate outdoor kitchen to house his prized oven imported from Spain – one shared goal was clear: the space needed to be a haven for socialising with loved ones. 

The Transformation

Recognising Robyn’s passion for gardening, the design aimed to create a unique space where she could indulge her green thumb to the fullest. Guided by Robyn’s enthusiasm, a landscape plan was designed to provide her with endless joy and fulfilment in one of her favourite pastimes. 

True to the vision, the perfect picking garden was established, with a love of dahlias clearly evident in the garden. An exquisite outdoor kitchen now graces the space. Guests are invited to gather amidst a garden that hosts an array of diverse plants and flowers.

The Result

Three years after its development, the garden continues to thrive, just as anticipated. Robyn spends her days and mornings tending to her beloved garden and Roger takes pride in his outdoor kitchen.

The planted Acer ‘Bloodgood’ and Lagerstomia ‘Kimono’ trees, already striking in their presence, hold promise of even greater magnificence as they mature.

A harmonious blend of evergreen structure, including Buxus, Camellia and Gardenia hedging, perfectly compliment the deciduous trees that add vibrant bursts of colour during the autumn season.

This garden really is testament to a well thought out design in partnership with the homeowners’ passions and dedications. A flourishing oasis, where vibrant foliage and thoughtful design combine to create a retreat for both the homeowners and their guests alike.

Key Planting List

  • Acer ‘Bloodgood’ 
  • Lagerstomia indeca ‘Kimono’ (Crepe myrtle)
  • Bambusa multiplex ‘Golden goddess’ (bamboo)
  • Blechnum gibbum ‘Silver Lady’ (fern)
  • Rosmarinus prostratus (Creeping Rosemary)
  • Buxus
  • Camellia
  • Gardenia 
  • Agapanthus (miniature)
  • Dahlias
  • Acorus gramineus (ornamental grass)
  • Senecio serpens (Blue Chalksticks) 
Landscape design by By Design Landscape Architects.