Makeover Magic – Hot Little Seventh Heaven – Kirsten Sach

Creating a little Bali resort heaven from a blank canvas was more challenging than Kirsten Sach would have originally imagined, but it was well worth it.
The ensuing garden of this Devonport, Auckland, property is a tropical Eden and an almost perfect replica of the many beautiful gardens and resorts her clients, Samala and Tony, have visited on several trips to the Indonesian island. “It was important for them to have their own piece of paradise to relax and entertain where stresses could just melt away,” explained Kirsten, landscape designer and director of Kirsten Sach Landscape Design Ltd.
To her clients, creating a strongly entertaining theme, improving the indoor-outdoor flow, which was previously absent and adding abundant vegetation was essential.
“The original space had no existing vegetation,” she adds. “Being a frost free area I knew it would be possible to use some frost tender plants safely.”
Using a combination of subtropicals and natives she created a green lush effect with flashes of strong colours that give a hint of the tropics while instilling a sense of peace. “The sound and cooling effect of water was very important with a sheer drop into a water channel that stretches from one side of the paved area to the house. Beautiful stone frangipani bowls also spill baby tears, giving a mossy aged effect.” The contrasting foliages, the textures of the different materials used such as stone, pebbles, old recycled timbers, and bamboo all add to the layering effect. “I used a combination of subtropicals and natives,” Kirsten says. “[Samala and Tony] wanted a more instant effect so plants were put in only a few months ago so that the garden looks like its been in for a couple of years.
“It still needs to fill out a bit and then it will have the full green lush effect that they wanted.”
The garden tells a story with little areas and pockets where a lot of thought has gone into the detailing. “They liked the idea that you could wander around the garden and discover little areas of surprise.”

Maximizing the flow between house and garden, and attempting to marry the old heritage villa and tropical style, a rustic bridge crosses over the water channel and through the plants and connects to the path that runs adjacent to the house. “Overhead, the slatted pergola that juts out from the dining room gives a sense of flow out into the garden and creates a more intimate effect.”

A built-in rustic barbecue blends into the garden and into a quiet area located off to one side. This space has a one metre diameter bowl with a Buddha nestled in pebbles and moss. Soft textures of fairy bamboo are contained in raised planters by the timber seat – which Tony built along with other timber features in the garden – and daybeds define the areas. A petanque court off the other side also provides an entertaining space. “They’re both creative and the design of the garden was a pleasure to work on with them.”

Kirsten Sach, director and designer of Kirsten Sach Landscape Design Ltd, is passionate about plants and the outdoors. Her prime interest is in sustainable gardens and two of her gardens, ‘Raingarden’ and ‘Kia ora ai te wai’ Make the water well’ have won a gold and silver award at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

For more information about Sach’s work or to contact her you can view her portfolio



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