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Updated: 2019-09-17 18:07

A Tauranga front garden gets a lush planted border and a clear grassy space

Dear Carol

unique wedding gifts couple

I’m stuck. Our Tauranga front garden is a sun trap with so much untapped potential. We’re down the bottom of?a quiet cul-de-sac. The front garden has a large oak, which can’t be touched, and I’m happy with the lawnbaby pillow, which the kids love to play on. There is, however, a collection of mismatched plants (and a dead kowhai), too many stones and a hedge that attracts flies. Visitors traipse through the front garden bed by the door and due to the hot, dry conditions plants here are struggling. I’d like to develop this area by removing the hedge and having?a green belt along the driveway with a variety of contrasting colours/textures and leaf sizes. What plants would suit the Tauranga climate? New Zealand natives and flowering plants to support our declining bee population would be great. What should I do underneath the lounge window and in the garden bed by the front door?

Suggested planting plan

TIP Newly-planted gardens need to be watered regularly for several months until plants establish, especially during summer months and in north-facing gardens like this one. Replacing existing soil with?a good quality garden mix will also ensure better survival rates for plants.

Words by: Carol BucknellIllustration/plan by: Carol Bucknell

In our “Old Recipe, New Dish” series, we ask a few of our favorite food bloggers, cookbook authors, and culinary up-and-comers to share a go-to holiday recipe that’s close to their hearts—and serve it up in a handcrafted piece of tableware made by an Etsy seller.

I like to call those first few months “Phase 1”. We made some adjustments, got the house to a liveable state, and moved the family in. There’s still loads of things that need to be done eventually, but we took some big steps! Today I want to go over what we completed in this first stage of home renovation, and how we handled to stay (mostly) sane during the process.