Ponsonby ‘pocket garden’ transforms a small, scrappy backyard

Ponsonby ‘pocket garden’ transforms a small, scrappy backyard

It is amazing just how a great deal land you can “discover”, even on a very small plot when you apparent absent all the extraneous stuff – a scraggly bush, some damaged paving, nondescript vegetation. All all those places you never ever very get to, and undoubtedly never use.

Abbie Reynolds and Daren Grover had lived in their little Freeman’s Bay cottage for 15 years, and they experienced such a yard. But when they last but not least did get all over to carrying out something with the landscaping, their ”Ponsonby Pocket Garden” challenge by Pure Habitats took out 3 main awards at the 2022 Landscapes of Distinction awards obtaining Gold for structure, Silver for design and Bronze in horticulture.

On major of that, Guillaume (Gilly) Chabbert, who was instrumental in the perform, won the coveted Young Landscaper of the 12 months and Superb Accomplishment – Vocation Progress in the Young Landscaper of the 12 months competitiveness.

Natural Habitats was responsible for both the design and construction, adding a large deck with an adjustable louvre roof, new hard landscaping and all the planting.

Lawrence Smith/Stuff

Pure Habitats was accountable for both the design and building, including a big deck with an adjustable louvre roof, new difficult landscaping and all the planting.

The task was a extensive time coming, on the other hand. Reynolds, who performs in sustainability, and Grover, who operates the Project Jonah whale rescue charity, states at one stage they had manufactured some pebble gardens, but then received pretty active, and the grass arrived back again. They requested up some designs a several several years ago, but they weren’t fairly suitable. “We sat on them for a couple of yrs, and then, right after the to start with lockdown I explained, ‘we just want to get something done’, so we looked for a landscaper that seemed like they cared about sustainability.”

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Purely natural Habitats Landscapes fitted the bill and was commissioned to come up with a prepare. But the pair had a great deal of tips by themselves. They favored the whole idea of extending the tiny unloved existing conservatory to offer out of doors living on a huge deck with a louvred pergola.

BEFORE: The garden was overgrown and not used.


Prior to: The back garden was overgrown and not utilised.

AFTER: Two raised corrugated steel planter boxes from Tankalot contain the vegetable and herb gardens, and are easy to maintain.


After: Two raised corrugated metal planter containers from Tankalot contain the vegetable and herb gardens, and are easy to maintain.

Biodiversity was vital

They preferred biodiversity, with plants that would catch the attention of birds and skinks into the garden, and they desired an effortless-to-handle tiny vegetable backyard. “And we needed a little something that seemed wonderful – a position we could retreat to,” Reynolds suggests.

To get the task started, the few went to the Botanical Gardens and received a listing of all the vegetation we could put in that would be great for biodiversity. “We had a checklist of about 25 diverse plants – and gave the names to Pure Habitats, and they put in a mixture of individuals matters,” Reynolds states

The team also gave a composition to the backyard, eradicating all the present scrappy features, opening up the area, and utilising just about every corner. And the huge, protected deck has become a different area of the home – it is applied frequently, even in the evenings.

Abbie finds it easy to keep an eye on what's happening in the garden every day.


Abbie finds it quick to preserve an eye on what is occurring in the yard every working day.

There are two or 3 different varieties of floor go over in excess of bark, which has made it incredibly minimal maintenance – it keeps the weeds at bay about the several plants, which involve mountain flax, hebe, and different indigenous grasses. And there are compact pavers interspersed with a bold environmentally friendly mondo grass, which is watered routinely with a system that has a rain sensor.

Two very long, slimline corrugated metal planters from Tanksalot, powdercoated white, supply lifted beds for the vegetables and herbs, all of which are flourishing, together with self-seeded tomatoes, arugula, parsley, rosemary, Vietnamese mint, thyme and coriander. The planters match a large, likewise formed drinking water tank that suppliers rainwater for irrigating the backyard garden.

And Reynolds has a worm farm, which provides terrific soil for the yard.

Private paradise: Chabbert eyes the stepping stones that lead round to stone steps down the side of the house.


Private paradise: Chabbert eyes the stepping stones that guide spherical to stone ways down the facet of the household.

A large Tankalot rainwater tank at one side provides enough water to irrigate the garden.


A large Tankalot rainwater tank at one aspect supplies ample water to irrigate the backyard.

The corner of the website is described by a pretty tall Washington palm, and a tiny feijoa tree. The back fence was component of the complete prepare – it characteristics slim timber battens that give the backyard garden a sturdy, textural backdrop.

And the native butterflies and birds have flocked back, which include tui, riroriro (gray warbler) and morepork.

The stop consequence is a collaboration that has labored beyond expectations. “It was actually essential for our sanity during lockdown,” Reynold admits. “It’s these a small sanctuary.”

And even Chabbert claims: “It’s by far my favourite one, since I have been a landscaper.”

But now they have accomplished the task, the pair are relocating to Nelson at Christmas. But they are not advertising – owning carried out all the function, they will be holding the home.

Ground cover plants help keep weeds at bay. The fence was rebuilt with battens.


Floor address vegetation aid keep weeds at bay. The fence was rebuilt with battens.


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