As you walk through our front door you immediately see a large window which captures the views out over the flats. The architect achieved this by making an alcove between the main living area and the guest wing. This space also houses the hot-water service and the reverse-cycle air conditioner. It is an ideal place for pot plants. Throughout summer I keep pots with cuttings, begonias and anything that needs nurturing out of the hot sun. In winter it has turned into the fernery. Getting this area to look nice and to be functional took a couple of stages. See the progress below.
This was the final solution to the space. Weedmat underneath and these lovely grey and terracotta stone. Two, frost tender shrubs, have been planted into the ground between the aircon and the hot water service and seem very happy. The emu has been placed opposite the aircon as the fans create quite a blast of air, a bit too much for pot plants to tolerate. On the hottest of days we installed an umbrella to shade everything and you can still see the stand half way along. Just as the architect planned this has become a lovely space full of plants.
This could also be called "Let's Disguise the Septic Tanks". The west side of the house has the septic system with large sand filters, meaning that we can't grow large trees and it has concrete lids to mow around. We decided this would be a good place for a vegetable garden. We've installed a raised bed for veges and will eventually add a couple of smaller raised beds for rotation and spring plantings of beans, tomatoes and zucchini.
Hiding the septic tanks has led to the development of the succulent pot garden. In fact the area with stones is full of pots with a variety of plants from bird of paradise (Strelitizia) to mistletoe cactus (Rhipsalis). A friend donated large Nandinas, that they removed from their garden so we had an instant hedge that added a nice screen between our place and the neighbours.
2011- 365 Challengers