Sitting Lakeside – case study of a beautiful lakeside garden

The contemporary home and the garden were used in the movie ‘Under the Mountain’,starring New Zealand’s own Sam Neill.
When Graeme and Geraldine Markwick first moved into their new home, the garden was overgrown with weeds, particularly leading down to the water, with some almost five-feet tall. They set to work clearing away the weeds in an area they presume was once an orchard,and while they wanted to tidy the garden,
there was something about the “rambling” feel that appealed.

Two young, up and coming designers worked their magic on a waterfront garden on Auckland’s North Shore. “Rather than steep stairs, we wanted to create a journey down to the lake, with a path you could casually meander down,” explains Geraldine. “It’s a lovely feel walking down there, and around every turn there is something to look at.” The final design and placement of plants can all be credited to Matt McIsaac and Mat Ransom from Watch This Space Landscapes. Known to the Markwicks through friends, they were keen to capitalise on the talent if the young duo, who were at the time fresh from design school. “They came up with such a great concept, and they were fantastic to work with,” says Geraldine. Matt and Mat took on the challenge of creating a journey down to the lake, and their choice of plantings and style has a magical effect.

Graeme and Geraldine love to sit by the water and invite friends over for drinks as the sun sets.
The only real difference from the concept to the final garden were the boulders which were uncovered when clearing the property. The boardwalk was modified to avoid the boulders, making them into more of a feature.

Pohutukawa trees that are several hundred years old lean out over the water, and provide partial shade to the jetty. They are the only part of the original landscape that remains, with all new plant varieties installed as part of the walk to the water. Graeme and Geraldine spend a great deal of time sitting beside the lake over summer, often having late afternoon drinks as the sun sets, and they also keep kayaks so they can enjoy getting out onto the water.The rejuvenated garden has proven popular with everyone who has seen it, and the property was rather famously used in the movie ‘Under the Mountain’, starring Sam Neil. The director used both the house and the garden in the film, including scenes depicting the waterfront aspect, with the characters kayaking out from the property. Graeme and Geraldine are understandably proud of their garden, and are thrilled with the overall design. “It was a great experience working with such talented young designers,and they created a beautiful garden that comfortably suits the natural environment. It truly has a magical feel.” •
Watch This Space Landscapes,
021 171 2222 or 027 465 6401


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