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9 Garden Trends to Transform Your Kiwi Oasis in 2024

As we embark on a new gardening era in Aotearoa, it's time to infuse fresh inspiration into our outdoor spaces. Whether cultivating a blossoming haven in Auckland or nurturing a serene retreat in Dunedin, these nine garden trends will elevate your home oasis to new heights in 2024. Get ready to dig in, Kiwi gardeners!

Xeriscaping Elegance:

New Zealand, with its diverse landscapes and unique climate, presents an ideal canvas for innovative gardening practices. In the face of changing environmental conditions, New Zealanders are increasingly turning to xeriscaping as a sustainable and water-efficient approach to gardening. This method not only conserves water but also creates visually stunning landscapes that thrive in our unique climate. 

Xeriscaping, derived from the Greek word "xeros," meaning dry, is a landscaping technique designed to reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. This method is particularly relevant in New Zealand, where water scarcity and unpredictable weather patterns are becoming more prominent concerns. By adopting xeriscaping principles, gardeners can create beautiful, low-maintenance landscapes that are both eco-friendly and sustainable.

Incorporate drought-tolerant natives like flax, hebe, kowhai, and manuka, and ensure the soil is covered with a bed of attractive mulch to minimize water usage while maximizing visual appeal. 

Miscanthus sinensis is a beautiful drought-tolerant plant that adds a whimsical, naturalistic feel to the garden. 


Create a garden both beautiful and productive with edimentals (both edible & ornamental) - plants that blend both functionality and beauty.  Embrace a feature plum tree with all its blossom and juicy fruit, creeping thyme to variagated mint, globe artichokes and a feijoa hedge to create an enticing and sustainable garden.

Creeping Thyme

Indoor-Outdoor Harmony:

Blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living by seamlessly extending your interior style into your garden. Use complementary colour schemes, similar textures, and outdoor furniture that mirrors your indoor decor. This trend creates a harmonious flow, making your garden feel like a natural extension of your home.

If you like a pop of colour, add seasonal potted colours that compliment your furniture, such as the colour of your cushions. For a seamless indoor-outdoor transition, grow flowers and plants with interesting foliage that you can cut and use as indoor decor.

A front garden designed & planted by Sculpt Gardens. 

Vertical Greenery:

Maximize your space and add a touch of modernity with vertical gardens. Utilize trellises, living walls, or hanging planters to create lush green accents that climb walls or fences. This not only enhances your garden's aesthetic but also provides additional privacy and shade.

Climbers are a simple and cost-effective way to incorporate greenery into areas that may be dominated by hardscaping. They will soften hard lines, such as fencing and pergolas. One of my favourite climbers to plant around a pergola is a grapevine. This is because it provides excellent shade in the hot summer months with dense greenery, but drops its leaves for the winter months when the warm sun is needed.

Star Jasmine is trained to grow up and over an archway, with topiary Buxus balls planted between to give a formal structure.

Wildlife-Friendly Spaces:

Increase your connection to nature in your garden by creating a habitat that attracts birds, butterflies, and bees. Integrate native plants, bird feeders, and insect-friendly flowers to promote biodiversity. A garden that buzzes with life is not only visually appealing but also contributes to the ecological balance in your local environment.

Native plants such as flax, kawakawa, and hebe provide an abundance of food for our native wildlife. Include a mixture of natives and long-flowering exotics to ensure there is a year-round supply of food. Our blogs, “How To Design A Bird-Friendly Garden”, and "10 of The Best Bird-Attracting Trees" provide an in-depth guide on designing bird-friendly gardens if you would love to find out more.

The native Pīwakawaka is a friendly garden visitor. 

Smart Gardening:

Embrace technology to make gardening more efficient and enjoyable. Smart irrigation systems, automated lighting, and weather-responsive gadgets can help you maintain your garden with minimal effort. These innovations not only save time but also ensure your plants receive the care they need. 

Smart irrigation systems offer a sophisticated way to manage water usage in gardens. These systems utilize weather data and soil moisture sensors to optimize watering schedules, ensuring that plants receive just the right amount of water. These systems play a significant role in preventing overwatering and promoting the health of plants.

Robot lawnmowers use advanced sensors and GPS technology to navigate and maintain your lawn. These offer a time-saving and efficient solution, as they can be programmed to mow at specific times, ensuring a consistently trimmed lawn without the need for manual effort. We recommend Mowbot, New Zealand’s Robotic Lawnmower Specialists.

Automated lighting systems are ideal for those who often spend their evenings outdoors, as the ambience of your garden is enhanced while providing an energy-efficient solution. Additionally, motion sensors can be integrated to illuminate specific areas only when needed, contributing to energy savings. We use Fourth Dimension Lighting for our design work.

Smart weather stations are a new technology that provides real-time data on temperature, humidity, wind speed, and precipitation. Homeowners can use this information to adjust irrigation schedules, protect sensitive plants from extreme conditions, and make informed decisions about outdoor activities.

Lighting from Fourth Dimension.

Mood-Boosting Colour Palette:

Incorporate calming and mood-boosting colour palettes into your garden design. Soft pastels, earthy tones, and shades of green create a tranquil atmosphere, providing a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. 

Coming home should be a warm welcome, and the simplest way to do this is to incorporate a beautiful touch of colour that catches your eye. According to Mental Health America, “bright, warm colours (reds, oranges, yellows) stimulate energy and happiness while cool, subdued colours (blues, greens, purples) are soothing. As well as this, according to the National Institutes of Health, simply being around flowers reduces stress, speeds healing, enhances concentration and improves mood. If you do not already have flowers and colour in your garden, consider planting some for the array of benefits.

The Crimson red of the Leptospermum cascades into the soft purple pastels of Lavender Major.  Designed by Sculpt Gardens.

Garden Sanctuaries:

Designate a special corner of your garden as a personal sanctuary. Whether it's a cozy reading nook, a meditation space, or a hammock under a leafy canopy, having a dedicated retreat within your garden allows for moments of quiet reflection and relaxation.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, we must have somewhere that can be a calm and safe space to escape to. Being immersed in nature, surrounded by greenery is the ultimate sanctuary. Have a look at your garden and think creatively. Is there a lovely sunny spot that could be utilized better? Or a shady sheltered corner perfect to escape the summer heat? Our garden designers at Sculpt love to solve spatial design puzzles, so if you are struggling to get creative, contact a local garden designer and see what they can come up with.

A sunny secluded spot to enjoy a morning coffee with the company of the birds.

Designed by Sculpt Gardens. 

Multifunctional Spaces:

Choose outdoor furnishings that are versatile and can be fit for different purposes. Foldable tables and chairs, modular seating arrangements and lightweight furniture can be easily organised to accommodate various activities. 

To create a seamless transition throughout your garden, design pathways that connect the different areas. This enables easy navigation through zones and creates a cohesive visual flow. Materials such as stepping stones, gravel, or pavers can be used to mark out your journey. We use Central Landscapes for our hardscaping products.

Crazy paving guides the pathway through this garden, with a circular slab set between the oval lawn and garden beds. Lightweight furniture from Jardin ensures a multifunctional space.

Designed by Sculpt Gardens.

Sustainable Materials:

Choose sustainable and locally sourced materials for your garden features. From recycled timber for raised beds to eco-friendly paving options, using sustainable materials aligns your garden with New Zealand's commitment to environmental responsibility. 

Get creative and see what resources you can use. If you have old bricks stashed away, these can be repurposed and used in your landscaping for edging or paving, bringing character and uniqueness to your garden.  Slabs of timber can be used as sleepers for pathways, with ground covers planted between to break up the hardscaping and act as a soft, natural carpet.

Timber sleepers with Woolly Thyme planted between the gaps.  This ground cover is soft at the touch, with a light fragrance and dainty purple flowers over summer.

Designed by Sculpt Gardens.

With these nine garden trends, you will be able to create a thriving, eco-conscious haven. From water-wise xeriscaping to embracing smart gardening solutions, let your garden be a testament to the evolving trends that make our Kiwi landscapes even more beautiful and sustainable.

If you would love for us to create your outdoor sanctuary in 2024, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Happy gardening!


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