Seaside Garden

i A view of the seaside which is only a short stroll from Fiona's property.

? A statement of harmony by the front door. The shapes and colour of this Cotyledon orbiculaia blend with the surrounding limestone wall of the house.

Fiona and David have two acres of garden called 'Karkalla' by the ocean near a seaside town. Natural low growing and wind swept indigenous vegetation dominate much of the countryside here, including much of their garden. Fiona prefers the natural environment and promotes the use of indigenous plants in garden design. Near and around the immediate area of the house Fiona uses some exotic plants which she manages to blend into the indigenous environment as accent plants. Anything to be included has to look after itself as well as look good year round. Succulents, obtained via bits and pieces collected in the local area, proved easy and useful components in the garden scheme.

Strong, salt-laden and cold winds, with nutrient-poor sandy soil, restricted many other plant types that were tried, while the succulents thrived.

<< The entrance to the house tastefully uses sculptural plants to soften the lines of the house. In the foreground is a cluster of Agave americana. In the distance on the verandah itself, a large tub of aeoniums can be seen growing where little else could grow, let alone survive.

Around the house

The natural vegetation near the house is blended with exotic plants, which are composed mostly of low-growing succulents that not only fit in well but also appear to thicken the immediate garden's vegetation. The garden makes extensive use of local granite gravel instead of lawn. The gravel supplies plant nutrients, lowers evaporation and suppresses weeds.

« Ari in the garden, with Fiona looking on. Natural vegetation dominates much of the garden further away from the house. 'Koonya Beach Columns' by Chris Booth (N.Z sculptor)

^ A Tiwi Pukamani pole from the Northern Territory

? Islands is on the far right. The green succulent with the yellow flowers is Aeonium urbicum. A lower growing Cotyledon orbiculata appears underneath. The picture at left was taken in summer while the picture at right was early the following spring.

5 Without any lawn or watering of this garden, ii is difficult to suggest that it looks dry when the plants look stunning and naturally healthy.

± Cotyledon orbiculata with Euphorbia characias v. wulfenii.

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