Dog Kennel Garden

 This is an early photo of the area.
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)

The Movables

These can be rearranged, but not removed.

The Backdrop

(It's important to state this - I mean, it could be a stylish yew hedge or a warm brick wall...)

The Result

A design miracle!

 Check out the white bath - very stylish!
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.

 Complete with dry stone river bed.
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).

 An evergreen grass-like plant.

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!