Design and Build
Brief: Another brand new modern home but seemingly built on an old rubbish tip… from the first spade turned we were unearthing the history of Waihi! The focus of our design here was on an open, sunny outdoor living and entertaining area. Apart from the rock & rubble filled earth our main hurdle in achieving this was privacy, being that the outdoor living circle ended right on the footpath. This proximity to the public meant a substantial fence was needed. Because the brick used on the house made such a strong statement we incorporated it into our fence design along with the sleek look of timber slats. A two tiered deck added some elevation to an otherwise flat section and garden. ‘Matangi Gold’ exposed aggregate driveway and paths complemented the colours in the brick and framed the planting nicely. The lush foliage planting scheme is pocketed with splashes of bold colour provided by alstromeria, dwarf canna and calla lily.
Design and Build
Brief: The brief for this project was to replace the existing modern contemporary garden and lawn with a ‘country style’ edible garden to include citrus, herbs and vegetables. The client wanted chemical free materials to be used where possible, an all weather potting shelter and because of the property’s proximity to a public reserve they wanted privacy to be improved.
We built our design around two raised vegetable gardens constructed from untreated macrocarpa and kwila. Not only chemical free but they lent nicely to the country style that our client wanted to achieve. Our clients had recently moved from a rural Waikato property to retire in the sunny Bay of Plenty. Ironically the first week of work was hampered by torrential rain then frosts! Sub surface water was such an issue that temporary drainage had to be implemented to allow work to proceed. Our client was beginning to wonder whether they had made a wise move! The end result however was a simple but elegant blend of modern and country. Stained timber slat screens were constructed to provide the needed privacy from the reserve and an enclave previously used to house a spar pool was roofed and converted into a potting shed complete with kwila potting bench. All areas were linked with Firth Flagstones bedded in river pebbles.
Brief: Take an aptly named and rather dated 70’s motel and transform into something relaxed and beach orientated. This pretty much summed up our brief. Oh, and do it on a shoe string! We got to work on this by drawing up a draft plan that could be implemented in 3-4 stages.
Stage one, now complete, focused on the two road entrances. The existing bright pink garden boxes were unscrupulously demolished but the plants were kept aside to be reused later. Rope, rock and shell were the main mediums used to create the “Beachie” theme and natural timber was used in the main areas of construction – retaining walls and edging to establish boundaries and gardens, privacy screens for road front units and chunky timber bollards. Some cleverly positioned lighting was also used to bring the main entrance to life at night and highlight the existing Queen Palms.
Watch this space!
Design and Build
This recently built factory was in need of an outdoor extension to its staff meal and meeting room. The brief was to create an area where staff and on occasions, family, could enjoy fine weather during work breaks and staff functions. With no designated staff gardener, the owners wish was to keep any gardens minimal and low maintenance. The area was to be secure from the street and adjacent creek but remain open, sunny and spacious.
This was a simple design blending Firth plagstones and instant lawn. The gardens were edged with Firth cobblestones and a flagstone path linked to the smokers area with a flagstone patio.
For all its simplicity however this is a great example of the effectiveness and hardiness of instant lawn. The turf was laid mid winter in a frost prone area. The ‘after’ photo was taken exactly four weeks later, after the first mow. The lawn looks as if its been there forever!
Design and Build
This repeat client recently sold an architecturally designed home and bought a 1970’s style split level brick home and property in need of plenty of improvements! A total property makeover was requested and a full property Concept Plan was created to be implemented in 3-4 stages. The brief for this first stage included replacing existing retaining, establishing a large flat lawn and creating private, sheltered outdoor living and parking off a self contained flat being constructed downstairs. The client wanted the gardens to feature lots of large specimen rocks and low maintenance coast hardy plants. Our challenge was, in a word, SAND! The entire property consists of sand for as deep as you can dig. Retaining posts were placed especially deep and were anchored with plenty of concrete. Truckloads of compost went in to garden beds and a generous topsoil base was established for the instant lawn. All of this capped off with an irrigation system! We stuck to a relatively simple theme in keeping with the proposed improvements to the dwelling. The feature rocks in the gardens offer dramatic effect turning bold green when wet which contrasts wonderfully with a shell mix mulch and dark kauri stained timber. Martin couldn’t resist the urge and hollowed out one rock into a stunning letterbox complete with copper street number! Watch this space as this project unfolds…
Design and Build
This is an elevated family lifestyle property with wonderful vistas and a 1980’s style home. Our clients greatly enjoy entertaining and their wishes were to create an outdoor dining and entertainment area adjacent to their home which could encompass a large dining table & fully housed BBQ. The gardens were to be low maintenance with easy growing plants. Our challenge was to keep the space open and sunny, maximising the view whilst providing shelter from the prevailing wind & privacy from the driveway entrance. The main boundary fence separated this area from cattle and therefore needed to be robust but attractive. The main dining area had to be raised and retained to take the weight of plenty of parties! We kept the theme rustic to enhance the rural surrounds and complement the dwelling and existing landscaping. Raised garden boxes border two sides of the dining area and with wide copings double as extra seating. The privacy/shelter screen incorporates a decorative panel and water feature to be enjoyed from the inside while the outside of the screen features a ‘picture frame’ showing off wonder island views to approaching visitors and the occupants each time they enter the car park.
Design & Build
John & Bev needed dramatic improvements to their back porch. They wanted a dry, sheltered space which would effectively be an outside room, but give the feeling of being immersed in their already established lush gardens. The home is of a 1970’s heritage and this project was to be part of a series of external improvements lending to a subtropical theme.
We designed a chunky timber pergola and kwila deck that doubled the existing size. The main feature of our design was the kwila stained batten linings which provided dappled light through the clear corrugated polycarbonate roofing and walls and helped create a intimate, tropical space beneath. A skylight was left directly above the kitchen window to prevent darkening inside and a kwila leaner was constructed facing the garden so that John could enjoy a drink while appreciating the bounty of Bevs green thumbs! Once it had had time to bleed, the kwila deck was oiled to maintain its rich deep colour.