by the Sea
WHO doesn't dream of
a garden by the sea, complete with panoramic views of the water
just beyond your garden beds and borders? If you think you're immune
to the charms of the coast, you won't be after flicking through
the pages of this indulgent new book.
Gardens by the Sea,
written by well-known British horticulturist Barbara Segall, takes
a journey through 21 coastal gardens from New Zealand to Devon,
California, Spain, Sydney and the south of France.
garden is distinctive, from a rocky outcrop in Maine to a sub-tropical
haven in Durban on the Indian Ocean, and the text reveals the secret
of each garden's success.
The Auckland garden of
artist Diana Firth and her partner Mark Burns is one of those featured.
This colourful garden (right) on the edge of the harbour faces north-northwest
and is beset by winds from every direction except due south.
Keeping the harbour view
was important to Diana and Mark, and by creating pockets of "jungle
shelter" in what is otherwise a very open garden, they have transformed
the site into a colourful scene, with vistas and quiet spaces for
reflection and meditation.
Like many owners of gardens
featured in Gardens by the Sea, Diana and Mark have learned
which plants are most suitable to their particular site by trial
and error. Barbara Segall discusses their successes and failures,
and provides detailed background information needed to create successful
The photography is lavish,
but this is not just a coffee table ornament. Over 150 plants which
thrive in coastal conditions (many of which are native to New Zealand)
are profiled, making this book a useful reference for anyone trying
to beat the elements to establish a coastal garden.
also provides specialist advice for coping with salt, wind, drought
and sun, shingle and sandy soil. There's also a special chapter
on garden design features from seashells and driftwood to boulders.
Gardens by the Sea
is an essential practical guide to creating amazing gardens
in exposed areas, and will offer inspiration to anyone trying to
turn a difficult gardening site into a coastal oasis.
Gardener, Issue 107, October 3-16, 2002, Page 28
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH