THE glossy dark-green foliage and subtle fragrance of blossoming orange trees along the driveway are the first of many garden wonders to cast visitors to Dural property Reverie into a state of awe.
Gitta and Gunther Rembel named their garden both for its dreamy quality and a favourite Debussy piano piece.
Designed by Andrew Pfeiffer with an emphasis on vibrant colour, the garden covers about half of the couple's five acre property and has six main sections, segregated by bright, sienna yellow walls.
"It's a modern garden, as well as a modern house, leaning on European garden traditions," Mrs Rembel said.
"We really enjoy it."
The couple were approach to become part of the Open Garden Scheme, which allows the public occasional access to some of the best private gardens in Australia, and have continued with it for the past 20 years.
"At first I was very apprehensive because we're quite private people," Mrs Rembel said.
"They persuaded us to just try it, and we've had it open once a year ever since.
"I really do enjoy it when I meet a lot of people and we exchange ideas, it's beautiful.
"We have a lot of groups from overseas coming to see the garden — Japan, Finland and America.
"They are actually quite surprised. This is a little different."
Mrs Rembel lived in Germany and Switzerland before a move to Australia with her husband. They were not always green thumbs.
"I grew up in the city and there was hardly any garden — a few trees and that was it," Mrs Rembel said.
Now large magnolia, fig, citrus, scribbly gum and crepe myrtle trees vie for attention amid colourful rows of hibiscus, wisteria, flowering aloe plants, cactuses, camellias and roses.
Even the vegetable garden is not immune to colour. Bright yellow and red stalks of chard and sweet peas in purples and pinks dot the garden beds, blocked off to keep out a cheeky wallaby who otherwise helps itself to any of the green beans, cabbages, root vegetables, snap peas and herbs planted there.
"I particularly like citrus because I find them very exciting," she said.
"We had a lot of fruit right through winter. When everything is grey and nothing happening, you have the beautiful fruit on the tree which gives life to the garden."