Garden Photo of the Day

A Bit of New Zealand in England

Creative design for an unusual effect

Today’s photos come from Russ Plank.

I live in Marlborough, Wiltshire, in England. I lived in New Zealand for 10 years and wanted to bring a little bit of New Zealand into my garden by planting a tree fern, ferns, flaxes, grasses, and my favorite—lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolius, Zones 8–10). Also, I wanted to make it fun and colorful, so I added lots of fence art, planting pots, and containers. I also have a large tiled garden wall, an idea I got when I was in Greece.

Light-colored gravel mulch, abundant art hung on the fence, and a brightly colored set of table and chairs give this garden a very bright, cheerful feel that is in stark contrast to the dark green trees visible over the top of the fence.

This painted blue ladder hung with containers of cheerful annuals livens up part of the fence.

Quirky shelving topped with garden art and many small pots of flowering annuals adds to the fun in the garden.

A bit of New Zealand in the garden, with a tree fern (Dicksonia, Zones 9–10) and a clump of New Zealand flax (Phormium, Zones 8–10).

Often we see annuals grouped together in large pots, but this is another beautiful way to display them, with each variety in its own pot and arranged on shelves like a collection of beautiful pieces of art.

This garden really creates an unusual effect, quite different from what we might think of as a traditional English garden. No matter where you live and garden, you can create a wide range of different feelings in the garden simply by your choices of plants and landscaping materials.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/07/2019

    So very cheerful with all that color. How do you overwinter your tree fern?

    1. user-7520937 08/07/2019

      The New Zealand tree ferns are Hardy, they can take a good frost of up to -5

  2. paiya 08/07/2019

    Russ, your garden makes me feel very happy. It feels like I am at the seaside, surrounded by happy colorful plants. The ferns are lovely

    1. user-7520937 08/07/2019

      Thank you!

  3. cheryl_c 08/07/2019

    Russ, you put a big smile on my face as I started reading your post and seeing your photos. Wonderful memories of our trip to NZ about 14 years ago. The quirky humor in your garden is delightful, and the colors are so happy. Thanks for sharing your beloved plants with us!

    1. user-7520937 08/07/2019

      Thank you!

  4. User avater
    simplesue 08/07/2019

    I sure wish I could grow a tree fern in Pittsburgh! Love the pots in the metal shelf on the white fence- such a pretty idea for annuals!

    1. user-7520937 08/07/2019

      Thank You!

  5. btucker9675 08/07/2019

    Love, love, love your happy garden! The yellow rooster with turquoise polka dots especially made me smile.

    1. user-7520937 08/07/2019

      Thank You!

  6. PallaviDivekar 08/07/2019

    Very unique ideas Russ . Loved the shelved annuals , the other ideas like the ladder one which one wouldn’t think of using it around the garden , you have made it very welcoming and beautiful . I could have a little date with my husband on those blue chairs and table setup ??❤️

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