New Zealand Coastline Castle, Complete with Moats, by Anthony Paul Landscape Design

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A touch of sculpture — note the various whimsical figures standing, sitting, and posed as if looking out on the sea — as well as native grasses, wood seating areas, and unique use of mosaics enhance this New Zealand landscape setting by Anthony Paul Landscape Design. Paul explains, “These windy gardens at the top of North Island are designed around textures and surfaces,” and so they are; an especially beautiful textural effect comes from the combinations of blue and white stone, the circular blue “moats,” and the hardy geometric plantings in what the designer calls a “checkerboard terrace” mere steps down from the home’s expansive glass doors. Echoing the rugged beauty of the coastline, the statues are abstract and stippled, with much the same visual interest as the weathered rock.

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Another key textural ingredient here is grass, and lots of it. As the designer continues: “Even as a child growing up in New Zealand, native grasses were my passion… they still are. Grasses are placed on the top of stone walls and also fill pots specially designed for the garden.” The exuberant colors of these grasses play off the pale terra-cotta of a sun terrace and even enhance a pond. By contrast, the clean glass edge of the infinity pool invites the fancy of swimming out to sea, unencumbered by anything on land…and that easy-going spirit carries through to the low-maintenance garden of succulents and other desert plants, mulched with colored gravel. With its water-filled “moats” giving the home a “castle” feel, this is a perfect mix of untamed beauty and carefully tailored style, courtesy of New Zealand native Anthony Paul.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).