Project Description

Eastern Fusion Garden

The brief was to create a water wise garden with intimate, peaceful spaces for meditation and an area for casual entertainment in a Japanese style.  Our client loves entertaining friends & family while cooking. One of her favourite camping destinations is the Skeleton Coast, where she enjoys relaxing around a fire while stargazing. Other places of inspiration include India and the Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.

The site and functional analysis guided us in the initial concept stage to create 5 distinct areas. The north facing main bedroom, office and guest bedroom had charming views of the mountains and clear blue skies. Neighbouring houses across the road needed to be screened. We proposed a Japanese inspired Hill & Pond garden. This style traditionally includes artificially sculpted hills around a pond, carefully placed rocks, stone lanterns, wooden bridges and a viewing pavilion. The materials and plants are normally worn to suggest the unstoppabilty of time.

With the borrowed scenery of the beautiful winelands & mountain range in the background we decided to orientate the timber decks diagonally. A medium sized timber deck connects the main bedroom and office increasing the functional outdoor space before you step down into the garden. The tall rustic screen directs and blocks views but also helps to filter prevailing winds. Existing shrubs were transplanted along the verge boundary wall which will in time help with screening.  A wooden bridge was proposed to connect the main bedroom to the guest bedroom. Some of these initial ideas were toned down due to budget constraints and a food garden with five individual timber planters was introduced.

The Torri gate with divider fence marks the starting point of the journey through the Stroll Garden. The idea behind the Stroll Garden is to hide and reveal features, views or scenes whilst the visitor navigates through the garden. We used random sized tree logs as pavers to control the strolling speed allowing one to pause and admire scenery. Light grey gravel implies a shoreline, the curved beds of evergreen plants represent land and local quarried blue grey rocks symbolize mountains. A small viewing pavilion was installed at the west side main bedroom sliding door. From here the borrowed vineyard landscape makes this narrow part of the garden appear larger. Directly opposite and in the direction of Cape Town a grouping of big rocks represents Table Mountain.

At the end of the Stroll Garden natural rocks from the garden was re-used to unite and bridge the slight level change into the Boma area.  A mini leopard tree forest cools down and frames the custom built seating area surrounding the Boma.  We sourced recycled slate stone from a nearby drop-off site to create a beautiful ‘Nobedan’ style paved surface around the Boma. Some of the slate stones where sunken into the existing patio paving creating an artistic link.

Opposite the lounge, we created The Dry Garden. These gardens were traditionally meant to be viewed and not to be entered. A low rustic fence keeps the profane out and the sacred in. A windswept yellowwood tree on a Turtle Island and a grouping of carefully composed rocks imitates the intimate essence of nature. The fine red Namib gravel can be raked (which is therapy to the sole) to suggest ripples on the ocean. The red gravel was inspired by the red sands of the Skeleton Coast. Visitors complete an ever-changing scene, meditating over the meaning of life, as light and shadow reflect of the landscape during the course of the day.