House decor ideas

A long, narrow suburban garden in Pretoria designed in a formal, yet contemporary style.

Andre Kruger, landscaper and co-owner of popular decor and garden accessory store Garden Bleu, had the same problem many homeowners with a long narrow garden share. Like most South African homes, the most used living area is the patio, but the long, narrow stretch of lawn in front didn’t make a very interesting view.

The garden measures just 16 x 11m, almost half of which is taken up by a swimming pool. The only way to organise it and make it interesting was to divide it into different rooms’, explains Andre. My plan for the lawn in front of the patio was to make it resemble a beautiful, patterned rug.

To do this, he introduced four circular and semi-circular beds between the swimming pool and the gravelled path adjoining the driveway. These accentuate the existing formality and allow me to change the plants and thus the colours every season.

The largest bed, planted with a mass

Repeated circular motifs establish rhythm and order.

A gravel border softens the transition between the pool, lawn and beds. These beds feature gaura and New Guinea impatiens (in the background).

Eureka lemon trees and star jasmine in terracotta pots on plinths create a formal divide between the driveway and the garden. The classical-inspired water spouts are from Garden Bleu. Australian brush cherry topiaries continue the circular theme in the gravel beds of pink New Guinea impatiens and kalanchoe, is the focal point. To soften the geometric design, he planted gaura in the two smaller beds to add a meadow-like playfulness. The effect of the delicate white flowers is best appreciated from the top of the steps leading to the house, he says.

At the far end of the lawn, he designed a Zen-inspired circle of champagne-coloured gravel and stepping stones with a water feature and a spill-over pond. In the gravel, he planted three Japanese maples with green Pratia pedunculata in metal-framed circles beneath them. Although this area has a different feel to the front section, the repetition of circles and the use of gravel links them, he says.

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