The Statue Garden

The giant Buddha

The space is spiritual, tranquil, functional and is a gathering space for family and friends.

Seven statues surround the amphitheatre in this magnificent garden, all of them overseen by a giant, 2,000-lb Buddha, which was shipped all the way from Indonesia.

It required a crane and several men to put it in place but was one of the highlights of the project.

“There are seven statues to reflect the seven days of Buddha,” says landscape designer Kurl Knight, who was the mastermind behind the creation of the garden. “These statues are positioned in the garden around the large circular area. Wherever you are in the garden, you can see the statues.”

Spread over half an acre, the garden is comprised of interconnected spaces and is designed with several purposes in mind.

As well as the spiritual element, it offers tranquility for relaxation and rejuvenation, and is a centre for entertaining. The garden also features areas in which herbs and vegetables are grown, and an orchard, where fruit is produced.

The amphitheatre at the heart of the garden is designed to be both functional and aesthetic, where the owners can host events.

“This large lawn area is the axis for the entire garden, it connects all the spaces together,” explains Kurl. “My client wanted an outdoor space that would accommodate a lot of guests, a large deck and outdoor kitchen, and finally landscape lighting so the space can be utilised at night.”

Shape and colour

The lot is awkwardly shaped, so Kurl has incorporated curved lines and areas of various grades to give the illusion of depth.

“Curved pathways create the feeling of looking forward to the destination ahead,” he says.

“All of the elements and spaces worked seamlessly together, creating a space that makes moving through the garden an experience to be enjoyed.”

The garden’s plant palette is very tropical, with lots of colourful foliage and flowers, plus various shades of green to create visual interest.

On the other hand, the palette for hardscapes – walls, water features, deck and the cabana – is very subtle.

This included staining the wood to retain a natural look, while the material for planter boxes in the herb garden has been left unpainted to create an aged look, and the walls were painted white. Natural stone was used for the retaining walls and burnt brick was selected for the pavers.


In terms of produce, the garden has a tantalising variety that can be picked and taken straight to the kitchen.

The herb garden includes black mint, lemongrass, parsley, oregano, thyme, peppers, Scotch bonnet peppers, eggplant and carrots.

Over in the orchard, there is mango, key lime, guava, carambola, avocado, banana, breadfruit, grapefruit, lemon, miracle fruit and plantain.

The fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs are destined for the owners’ dining table and are often featured on the menu when they eat al fresco with friends on the deck.

Fully set up for outdoor entertaining, the owners have also installed an open-air kitchen for food preparation and barbecuing.

Tinkling water

Another delightful aspect of the garden is the sound of tinkling water, adding to the meditative mood of this private oasis.

Surrounding the deck, the water features also create a wonderful visual effect, especially at night when they are illuminated.

One has three bubblers that cause the water to gush like a fountain, while the second feature is a narrow trough with water spilling out from Polynesian accents on the vertical wall.

The third water feature has two levels; an upper area that wraps around the deck with an overflow onto the lower area, which is a koi pond.

The ambience of the garden is further enhanced by a music system that plays throughout the grounds and even a television which appears or disappears at the touch of a button.

There is also a hammock area, pergolas, cabana with sofas, a section for sunloungers, and a boat dock.

Computer model

To bring the vision of this amazing garden to life, Kurl created the concept using an interactive computer model, that includes virtual reality headsets.

“This was the highpoint of the entire design process as the client was very excited to see a 3D model of their garden,” he says. “The model helped significantly with communicating my design ideas. I was able to show views of garden from different angles and at different times of day.”

A team of landscape and hardscape contractors was then assembled to bring the vision to life just the way the owners wanted it.

“They love their garden,” says Kurl. “The owner walks into the garden and gathers mint leaves to put into his tea every morning. They have also had some wonderful parties in this space and have many more planned.”

Garden Contractors
Installation: Kurl Knight
Hardscapes (retaining walls, deck, gazebo, planter boxes, pergolas): 5 Star Construction
Brickpavers: Reekez Tiling & Paving
Water features: JD Design & Construction
Plants: Growing Beauty Nursery
Outdoor entertainment system: 345AV