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March 2018 Blue Sky Thinking by Caroline Botting in NZ House & Garden Magazine.
Located in Auckland, the Jeffares Apartment Green Wall transforms the inner city outlook high above the street level.
The first view from the Jeffares’ inner city apartment is not other city buildings, but a green flowering vista thanks to a 17-metre green wall as a balustrade. The north facing apartment, with distant views of the sparkling Waitemata Harbour, has a 140 square metre balcony creating a unique opportunity for “something special rather than just planter pots.”
Nicola and Peter Jeffares had gotten some ideas from a book called “Rooftop Garden” and then contacted Natural Habitats to help them design their dream.
“Natural Habitats was committed to creating our brief for a water feature and a green wall. They then embellished and enhanced our brief with a floating private deck outside our bedroom, copper planters and pumice gabion planters.” ~ Peter Jeffares
There are many aspects that the Jeffares love about their balcony garden.
“When you’re sitting down, you forget that you’re right in the middle of the city, as it has a sense of peacefulness, quiet and calm. Our friends and family visiting the garden are absolutely stunned with the size of the balcony and its transformation into a garden.” ~ Nicola Jeffares
With a mix of covered and uncovered areas, a BBQ, and an outdoor lounge and gas fire, the Jeffares describe their balcony as a garden for all seasons.
“We enjoy our garden day and night, in rain and shine, and in summer and winter,” says Nicola. “During the day, you enjoy the planting on the balcony and the borrowed tree line of the city. At night, the city lights add to the balcony illumination.”
Exposed to sun, salt and wind, this green wall has technology that automatically waters it three times and feeds it twice each day.
Hardy local plants were chosen: Rengarenga lillies, mondo grass, white rata, and colocasia.
The Jeffares apartment balcony garden also includes a water feature, hand-made copper planters filled with Strelitzia reginae (bird of paradise), and a hand-crafted gabion wall filled with pumice.
This garden also won three Silver Awards from the Registered Master Landscapers of NZ 2018 awards for design, horticulture and construction.