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Nz House And Garden


Episode 4

Watch this episode of NZ House & Garden on TVNZ ondemand.

A Remarkable Retreat

Queenstown's Remarkables Mountains are a New Zealand icon and as such a strict district plan governs the construction of buildings in this environmentally delicate area.  However Jeff Turner and architect Michael Wyatt used this to their advantage to create an expansive and inspirational home that is a reflection of this regal landscape.

The stunning 100 acre property which has massive views around the Wakatipu basin as far south as Kingston, overlooks Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding peaks.  The house, built entirely of natural materials: schist, stone, timber and glass, is perched on its own man-made lake which further reflects the majesty of the surrounding scenery. 

For architect Michael Wyatt the house is a huge departure from his signature traditional style and has given him the opportunity to craft something spectacular.

Pokapu is now on the market!  Click here for details.

Formal and Funky

Howard Bridson and Tony Kerapa have used an unusual plant selection in their formal and very manicured garden. Groups of nikaus stand as sentinels in the middle of formal structure with box hedging and block plantings of coloured grasses.

They have done the unthinkable and made the formal garden hip and funky with their contemporary, native fusion of style. This masculine style, with its hard sculpturing and strong lines is a reflection of the owners and they keep it extremely clipped and manicured year round.

Revamping this traditionally flowery farmhouse garden into a highly structured work of art has been a labour of love for long time partners Howard and Tony.

Some of the great features of Howard and Tony's garden are:

  • Bricks - Howard thought the age and style of the house leant itself to traditional brick paths. He found some old North Bricks from Te Awamutu, which are slightly larger than standard bricks.
  • Bridge Piles - There are several two metre bridge piles that are used for structure in different parts of the garden. They also have a long history in the region and Howard was happy to be able to bring them into his garden design.
  • Swimming pool - The swimming pool is one of the most inviting places in the garden. It has a chic, modern look surrounded by an immaculate formal garden. They decided to sink it down a metre into the land which gives it a sense of being in a room of its own. The hedging around the area was designed to cut out the wind and add to the private, enclosed feeling in this "garden room".

Howard and Tony's favourite plantings include:

  • Nikau palms (Rhopalostylis sapida)
  • Hollywood Junipers - (Juniperus squamata)
    Their windblown, zig-zag shapes gives an almost Dr Suess quality to the grassy mound on which they were planted.  The Junipers were clipped to make a stunning topiary feature in rusted pots.
  • Ligularia (Ligularia )
    One of Howard's all time favourites is the Ligularia called "Brit Marie Crawford" or "Golden Groundsel". He loves its dense burgundy leaves and has block planted the species in the courtyard near the water feature where it gives good structure and depth of colour. Another is "Martian Invader"  which Howard loves for its unusual crinkly green leaf which is good for structural planting. 
  • Hostas (Hosta sieboldiana)
    Howard has used dozens of Hosta sieboldiana in the garden for their sheer size and strength and their grey/blue crinkly leaf. He thinks the impact of block planting with the hosta can't be beaten.
  • Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica) is used for the outer hedging that encloses the garden. The hedge is kept tall and bold and with its large, glossy leaves it does a good job of holding the outer boundaries.
  • Frosted Chocolate (Corokia x virgata) has been fashioned into a ball shape to form a point of interest behind the lower growing buxus.
  • Red Dream (Escallonia) forms the mid level foil for the bronze male torso that the couple bought while on holiday in Bali. It attracts much comment from visitors as the torso has "all the necessary parts".

La Bella Italia

You could say Antonio Cacace was born into the business of food; he was just four years old when he began serving in his family's restaurant on Italy's Amalfi Coast.  Over the next 20 years Antonio's father taught him all the 'tricks of the trade' - grooming him to take over the family business.  The most important lesson - learning the value of procuring the best ingredients at all cost. 

When Antonio arrived in New Zealand in the early 90's he was frustrated at not being able to access the quality foods from his homeland so he began importing his own.  At first he provided for family and friends but soon demand for his products increased and "La Bella Italia" was born.  "La Bella Italia" is the culmination of Antonio's passion for food and the 'tricks' he learned in his formative years - a unique place to immerse ourselves in the culture and cuisine of Italy.

First Course:  Pennette all Sorrentina.  Baby penne with fresh tomatoes, basil garlic and mozzarella.
Second Course:  Antonio's father's whole baked fish with capers, gherkins, lemon juice and olive oil.   Antonio learned how to serve whole fish when he was just seven years old.  It might be good to get him to demonstrate this for you when he's serving it to the Rotarians.  From memory he cuts it in half horizontally and then peels back the skin and serves it straight on to the plate.
Dessert:  Torta Caprese - flourless chocolate cake from the Island of Capri.

Antonio's Favourite Fish Market
Pacific Catch
Moore Wilson Ltd
Lorne Street
Tel: 04 384 9906

We recommend that if you are in Petone that you visit La Bella Italia - you won't be disappointed.

La Bella Italia
10 Nevis Street
Tel: 04 5669303
Fax:04 5669304

Open House

The relationship between architect and client is like any other. To work - it needs good communication and trust.

Architect Malcolm Taylor's clients trusted him - and agreed to let him take a risk and push the boundaries when he designed their beach holiday home.

Using the traditional Kiwi bach as inspiration - kitchen at one end - the toilet at the other and sleeping in between - he created a simple but sophisticated design that has some extra special features to set it apart from the rest.

To get in touch with architect Malcolm Taylor:
Malcolm Taylor
Xsite Architecture Limited
22 Kesteven Ave,
St Heliers
New Zealand
Tel: 09 585 1011
Mob: 027 277 7447
Fax: 09 585 1016