Home & Building, Volume 12 Number 6 (June-July 1950)
Here a Home was Created
It is related that a memorial line on a stone in Virginia, referring to the wife of one of the early settlers, runs like this: "She placed her little foot on the soil of Virginia, and the wilderness became a home." This old epigram occurs to me on surveying the garden planned and maintained by Mr. and Mrs. L. R. Pulham, at Takapuna. Mr. Pulham, like many of us, admires a garden in bloom, but would like to go on record with the admission that the garden is almost wholly the unstinting work of his wife: "but a husband is a handy man to wield a spade and heave rocks around, as requested." The rockery here is a work of art. The house itself is most happily placed in that it is almost on the cliff edge, commanding a superb view of the Rangitoto Channel and Hauraki Gulf. The comfortable lounge floor is covered by three magnificient carpets, the result of the industry of Mrs. Pulham, who shares page breakwith Queen Mary a flair for intricate weaving and rug-making. Indeed, with such a fair prospect and in such comfort it is almost an effort to leave for the delights of the garden.
In the lower left-hand photograph, taken from a position almost on the cliff edge, it can be seen how the rockery of blue stone splendidly sets off the array of plants—the lawn of buffalo grass is designed to hold the sandy cliff edge together as much as possible. Pointsettia and Solanum cover the pergola and the borders are trimmed with carnations.
The lower right-hand photograph is a view from the right corner, showing a boundary of wild fern and the beginnings of a Rosemary hedge, while the old Eloeagnus hedge on the left forms natural shelter for climbing wisteria. An inviting bird bath is placed near the steps.
Growing against the side of the house are numerous varieties of plants from the South Pacific. The rooting out of bamboo was quite a problem but now in its place bloom hibiscus borders and a flowering gum—all this backed by a magnificient macrocarpa at the head of an acmena hedge. Much of this section shown in the photographs on the right, has wisely not been ordered too meticulously but left in a glorious array of natural profusion.
From the entrance, forming a delightful walk to the house, all kinds of shrubs support the winding path which opens out to the garden itself. An area for vegetables is set apart behind a Norfolk Island Palm. It is interesting to recall that Mr. and Mrs. Pulham's garden was awarded third place in the class not exceeding a quarter of an acre, with no restriction on hired labour, in the Auckland Provincial Public Relations Offices' 1949 Garden Competition.
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