Text: Ruchi Sawhney Photographs: Nikki Beulens
Iscoyd, Rear Admiral AR Radhakrishnan and Rani’s bungalow at Staff College, Wellington, has a spectacular garden that has won three prizes this year!
Iscoyd, a beautiful colonial bungalow, has been home to the Chief Instructor Navy, since the inception of the Staff College in Wellington. Its present occupant, Rear Admiral AR Radhakrishnan and his wife Rani, have spent just over a year in it and very graciously invited us to spend a beautiful sunny morning in their garden. Sitting prettily on a hillside, the bungalow is painted a pristine white, sparkling like the naval uniform! Iscoyd, meaning ‘under the woods’, is a very appropriate name for a house that has thick eucalyptus trees along the driveway leading to the house, with a terraced lawn and a large variety of spring flowers in bloom.
Over the last decade Iscoyd has won many prizes at the garden competition and this year very proudly received three prizes in the private cottage category. The Admiral and his wife give a lot of credit for it to their gardener who is passionate about this garden as he has been tending to it for the last 20 years. Over the years, the old trees have fallen down, affording plenty of sunlight for the plants which have been sown in a systematic manner to flourish and the flowers to burst into bloom. It was a delight to walk along the flower beds and try and identify all the flowers: dahlias, inca marigold, fuchsia, phlox, pansies, sunflowers, astermarias, hydrangeas, clusters of calendula (for the first time), snapdragon, asters – it was a kaleidoscope of colours.
The lawn has two bottle brush trees on either side, with a brick-fronted bar under one, and a wrought iron swing near the other. A vegetable patch behind the house allows them to enjoy fresh carrots, turnip, corn, etc, and herbs like mint, citronella, thyme, rosemary – all that one needs for gastronomic delights.
Nothing can really surpass the sheer pleasure of spending a summer morning listening to birds twittering, watching the play of butterflies and soaking in the colours of nature, and the Radhakrishnans are very happy to share this joy with their family and friends.