Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Art Deco Garden Revisited

I was reminded again recently, what an amazing climate it is that we live in. With temperatures of 24-32*C (77-90*F) and plenty rain at night, the weather in Kwazulu-Natal is especially good for plants. I was visiting a garden that we completed about 18 months ago, and was surprised to see how much growth has occurred since I last visited.

This was a tropical style garden, which was designed around an art deco home, it consisted of 3 levels, and 4 distinct areas. Unfortunately, the way the house is designed, it doesn't interact functionally with the garden very well, there are only 2 entrances into the garden, and neither make it very easy to just walk out into the garden.

Although not physically easily connected to the house, the garden is quite visually connected to the house. The back garden is looked down onto from a patio area, and from both the first and second floors. As a result, the garden almost needed to be at its best when viewed from above.

The garden is also very open to its surrounds - it is bordered on 3 sides by a road, and therefore needed to be beautiful when viewed from outside.
But at the same time a fair degree of privacy was needed to be able to enjoy the garden from inside.

The plants were chosen for their tropical or colourful qualities - either bright flowers or bold foliage. I planted them in groups to show them at their best, but then planted plants with contrasting colours or texture close by in order to make the outstanding qualities stand out a little more. Its a style of planting that if its not done carefully can be too loud, and can result in a kitch, fruit-salad-type garden.

The garden would be half done if it only had interest when viewed from a distance. I chose plants that would pull you into the garden, down the winding grassy paths, and would be interesting to look at, would have a beautiful smell and would make you want to touch them.

I have explained a little bit more about the design in a previous post, as well as the sketches and before, during and after pics.
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