Before & After

Smartening up a parking area


A parking space at the front of a property can be integrated with the rest of the front entrance to the section by bordering it with a landscape that includes elements or plants that are present elsewhere in the entrance area.


Smartening up a parking area


The owner of the property in the photograph would like to liven up the space next to the parking area in front of her house. She wishes to keep the garden with the box hedge adjacent to the house as is.


Smartening up a parking area


To create a unified look, the box hedge (Buxus sempervirens) is repeated next to the parking space. In general, the clean, simple lines of clipped hedges give a certain sense of formality and style. They form the perfect foreground for informal plantings of a variety of textures and colours.

A rhythm is developed using Chionochloa flavicans (miniature toe toe) and a small selection of colourful flaxes and shrubs (such as Coprosma repens 'Painter's palette') that pick up the red-brown timber of the house.

Against the fence, Griselinia littoralis (kapuka, broadleaf) serves as a fresh green backdrop for these colourful plants.

The small trees add height and, planted in a row, tie in with the formal theme. Laurus nobilis (bay tree) could be used for that purpose, ideally with a root barrier along the concrete to prevent damage to the hard surface. It responds well to pruning and clipping, so that the canopy growth can easily be kept under control.

Another, somewhat more frivolous option, is to grow herbaceous perennials instead of evergreen shrubs behind the hedge. Even when they get blown about in the wind, or start to look past their best, the clipped box hedge will keep it together and give the impression of a well-cared for garden.