Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 27 Summer 2010 Contents 196 INSITE SUMMER 2010
for example, with benches and planters. “Skewed angles attract a
person’s eye,” Annette says. They focus a seating area so it’s looking
back towards the house or some other view, Dion adds.
One of the first things they often do is change the colour of the
background – lighter fences and walls are toned down with deeper,
darker colours, which reduces glare and allows them to become a
backdrop. This means they don’t “fight visually with anything...
allowing the features to be feat ures”, says Annette.
Highlight colours used to make features stand out are important,
too. They still get queries about the vibrant orange-red paint from
Bauwerk Colour used in their winning garden for Garden Week 2009.
They work with the hardscape elements first and design a space.
Then they bring in natural elements, such as plants and river stones,
to create a scene with complementary textures and colours. “We love
playing with different textures,” Annette says.
River stones bring in soft, smooth textures and colours from pinks
and browns to creams and greys – they also act like mulch and keep
the soil insulated, Dion adds.
Annette and Dion are not ‘flower children’. Th at is to say, their
niche is ‘low-maintenance’, contemporary, courtyard-style outdoor
rooms, in which clients prefer to relax instead of spending time doing
maintenance. And flowering plants often need a lot of maintenance.
Instead, foliage plants not only bring in colour in subtle hues, but
also different textures – for example, mixing spiky foliage with a
groundcover with rounded leafs. Waterwise plants are a priority, but
the couple is not fixated on native plants. They choose plants that suit
our climate, the local soil and the client, and that help achieve the
look they want. Their intimate knowledge of plants helps with this.
Most of the plants they use grow less than a metre high and
wide, says Dion. Annette adds: “We use mass planting to give a
grand effect without using big plants.” Favourites for this include
liriopes, dianellas and leucodendron. Larger plants can be used as
features – frangipani is a favourite.“We love the dappled light and the
architectural shape of the trunk,” Annette says. They’ve also used
grass trees and dragon trees to make a statement.
“We experiment at home to see what plants do and what they
look like, with and without water,” Dion says. They also drive around
and look on the internet to see what looks good and what doesn’t,
adds Annette. “We live and breathe what we do,” she says. “It’s heaps
of fun, challenging and very rewarding all at once.” I
CLOCKWISE from left A cool, dark colour makes an unobtrusive backdrop; clean angles and an
uncluttered design create a tranquil area to sit; big smooth ceramic pots along a fenceline each hold a
magnolia little gem, as requested by the client. They won’t grow too big in the pots, have leaves with
an interesting texture and will bring forth beautiful white flowers; the award-winning garden at Garden
Week 2009, showing a mix of textures and colours, including the vibrant orange clients still ask about.
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