Dog Kennel Garden
What a Mess
You couldn't really call it a garden make-over. It was more like a garden challenge - like that given to would-be designers who exhibit at Flower Shows. Not the famous ones, though - in the year 2004 this small garden got itself designed totally by default.
The Garden Area
Behind the garage.
The Garden Challenge
Leaving all of the objects listed below exactly where they are, moving only rocks and stones and dirt, and using transplants plus plants from tired out pots (for example, the yellow leaved camellias), plant a successful garden.
Do this quickly, before your nerve fails.
The Objets d'Art
(It sort of looks better in French)
- One 44 gallon drum - rusting, but full of rain water.
- One home-made dog kennel - assorted materials.
- One large piece of railway sleeper wood - lying lengthways.
- One boring white bath - of no artistic value, full of rainwater.
These can be rearranged, but not removed.
- Eight sharp edged rocks - gifted by a friend who left the country (to live in the town...)
- Gravel - left over from unknown ex-owner's concrete making.
- Stones - lots of, small sizes, ex water race.
- The boring white bath - if desperate.
(It's important to state this - I mean, it could be a stylish yew hedge or a warm brick wall...)
- Unpainted dull silver-grey corrugated roofing sheets.
A design miracle!
The Rhododendrons Arrive
As long as you can forgive the yellowing Camellia leaves, and the large droopy rhododendron dragged from Middle Border, and the little grasses dug up from the vegetable garden (don't ask), you should be pleasantly surprised. The dry stream stone river bed flowing out of the door of the dog kennel is a masterstroke.
The Dog Kennel
And of course the red brick tones of the tussock theme echo the colours of the rusting oil drum. The green pseudopanaxes are set off by the sympathetic light grey background (we won't mention that one of them is already showing minor frost damage and will have to be shifted).
The Acorus grasses were never happy in their plastic bucket pots anyway - their label states 'moist conditions' quite clearly.
The white bath is rightly considered both a water feature and an enduring domestic symbol - evoking memories of simpler times when rain water was prized for washing. Painting it cherry red was occasionally mentioned in the journal, but eventually considered counter-trendy.
Heirloom Garden Art
The whole project is a living work of heirloom art, and a daily reminder that it would have cost approximately thirty dollars to have taken all the stuff to the council dump and put down grass seed.
Look out, Chelsea Flower Show! A new antipodean cutting-edge garden designer is born - a Moosey is on the loose!