Opening up the view and allowing the indigenous understory to thrive
Mountain Home Office Garden
Location: Somerset West
Completed: August 2020
BRIEF: This garden is situated on the very edge of a golf estate, right up against the mountain. Heine and Christa wanted to capitalise on their majestic views, particularly from the ground floor home office and art studio where they spend the most time.
They also wanted to reduce the lawn to a small, manageable chipping green.
CHALLENGES: Very large, exotic trees in the woodland area of the property were blocking the views and crowding out the indigenous understory (including beautiful Yellowwoods, Wild Olives, Wild Pears and Forrest Elders).
The tough call was made to remove the large exotics to open up views and bring light in to enable more understory interest between the smaller, indigenous trees, which could now also really flourish (see box bottom left).
The plants chosen combined species that are growing naturally in and around the garden (like King Protea, Watsonia and Aristea bulbs) with other indigenous species appropriate to the site’s environmental conditions. We kept to a colour pallet of purples, pinks and greys for restfulness and to pick up the colours on the mountain. Big clumps of grasses add softness and movement and magic when they catch slanted dawn and dusk light.
The effect is to bring nature close to the house and visually connect the garden with the greater landscape.
The small, neatly edged chipping greens on two levels are far easier to maintain now and well used. They also form a pleasing contrast of formality against the comparatively wild garden.