A lush Balinese-style garden hidden in an Auckland backyard

Why go on holiday when your garden – in busy old Auckland – is a Balinese retreat built to capture all-day sun?

A lush Balinese-style garden hidden in an Auckland backyard

Fiona Milde vividly recollects her first impressions of the property she bought four years ago in Kohimarama in Auckland’s Eastern Bays. “Ghastly. My father, who was a building inspector, had a slight nervous breakdown. It was clinker brick downstairs, weatherboard on the middle level and plaster with a Mediterranean bell tower on the upper level. Beautiful shades of apricot and green. And the outside patio areas were terracotta tiles. Bamboo had invaded the garden so much that I couldn’t believe how much land there was when we started cutting it back.”

Now it’s hard to believe she is talking about the same property. A gently trickling rill flows around spacious decks surrounded by lush subtropical plants. A Japanese-style pavilion at the end of a lower deck forms the centrepiece of the garden, providing a unique, elegant space for outdoor entertaining.

Fiona offers some advice for anyone contemplating having a garden designed

“Research, research, research! Think about a theme you want and get Googling – the ideas that are out there are quite incredible. Get a file or a scrapbook and keep all the designs and plants that you like on file. For me, I prefer to go with a single theme and have learnt not to chop and change the look or try to add to it; I like a garden that flows beautifully and works as a single entity.”

Words by: Carol Bucknell. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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