Semi-retired professional Peter worked with Zones to achieve a low-maintenance edible garden and outdoor living space.

WORDS Mina Phillips

Semi-retired professional Peter came across Zones Landscaping specialist Thelma Meyer at a home show in 2018. The Devonport resident was looking for someone who could help him with what he describes as a “tired” and “dilapidated” main garden. After looking through a few options at the show, Thelma stood out to him as someone that he wanted to work with.

“She was the most enthusiastic and seemed to have the better product”, tells Peter. “She was very open and honest about what they could do and described it very well.”

“[Thelma] was the most enthusiastic and seemed to have the better product”

While a low-maintenance edible garden was high on Peter’s wish list, his main priority was to be able to enjoy more outdoor living space.

“I’m only in a small unit, so I was looking to have extra living space”, he adds.

Thelma says her brief included an undercover outdoor area and low maintenance garden.

“He wasn’t keen on any grass and wanted the space to be wheelchair friendly for later in life. As a semi-retired professional, being home more and loving working in raised garden beds, the planting arrangements were all about edible planting and fragrances.”

The aesthetics, smells, textures and flavours within the garden were all key to the design process, as was making Peter feel valued and supported.  

“[Thelma] responded straight away to any queries I had and jollied-up the tradesmen.”

“Thelma is hands-on and very enthusiastic”, tells Peter. “She responded straight away to any queries I had and jollied-up the tradesmen. When I decided I wanted something changed they did that very readily and very speedily.”

Peter approved the design and fixed-quote that Thelma presented him with, allowing the various elements of the new garden design to be implemented. 

“We changed the whole courtyard except for the cherry tree and added a picture framed Vitex hardwood deck and undercover louvre roof system (by Pacific Outdoor Solutions)”, tells Thelma. “Peter didn’t want us to touch the height of his fence as he enjoys the view towards the sports fields and people walking past.”

Thelma’s team also installed paved areas and pathways using a compacted hoggin and groundcover. In the gardens, they planted gardenias, Buxus green gem, mondo japonicus, lilyturf, ficus Tuffy, creeping thyme, lemon and lime trees, passion fruit and remuremu. Two hydrangeas, in particular, had significant sentimental value to Peter.

“I had some special plants that my late wife had planted in our garden. I had them there and, before the build started, Adrian Louw (who carried out the soft landscaping) took them away and looked after them while the build was on and brought them back and planted them again. He’s done a great job."
- Peter, Zones client

“I had some special plants that my late wife had planted in our garden. I had them there and, before the build started, Adrian Louw (who carried out the soft landscaping) took them away and looked after them while the build was on and brought them back and planted them again. He’s done a great job.”

Peter also speaks highly of Zones team member Francois:

“I’ve got to make special reference to Francois Schoeman (who took care of the hardscaping), who seemed to take this on as a personal project. He was extremely meticulous in what he did, his workmanship was fantastic - I can recommend him most highly. He was fantastic. He really put his heart and soul into the whole thing.” 

Of the final result, Peter can happily say that the project met his objectives. 

“I’ve ended up with an extra twenty square metres of very nice space. The edible garden is going good. I’m just waiting for a bit more spring so that I can plant some tomatoes. I’ve got mint, spring onions and parsley in at the moment. It has been lying dormant over the winter but I’ll have that all up and running shortly.”

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