WORDS Mina Phillips
Location: Henderson, Auckland
Project Description: Pathway and garden upgrade/extension
Project duration: 5 months
Main materials: Terracotta cobble tiles
Zones had been providing Henderson homeowner, Kay, with regular lawn and garden maintenance leading up to this landscaping project. When Kay decided to improve the pathways surrounding her home, including the sunken brick pathway at the back of the property, she knew Zones could take care of the job for her.
“After being in the family for 30+ years, our clients' Mediterranean style home was ready for renovations to help preserve its classic beauty”, says landscaping specialist Matt Wilkinson. “The client wanted to upgrade and extend the pathways around the home using terracotta cobble tiles which were already used to surround the pool patio. Secondly, the brick-paved pathway around the back section had sunken and shifted over time, therefore some attention was required here to bring it back to its former self.”
One area requiring a significant amount of attention was the home’s drainage issues.
“We had issues with a lot of blocked drains”, says Kay. “These old drains needed to be removed and replaced before we could finish the pathways. Matt organised a drain specialist to come and identify different issues.”
“Certain areas of the tiling required resurfacing to get a suitable platform to lay the tiles on and create fall back towards the drainage”, explains Matt. “New drainage was required to manage the large volume of water coming from the roofs and driveway. During heavy rainfall, flooding was common under the carport and CCTV cameras were required to identify multiple blockages and displacements along the old clay stormwater pipe lines.”
“I was so grateful to Matt for getting these fixed, as every year we have terrible flooding when the heavy rains come”, notes Kay.
With the draining issues addressed, Matt found a local supplier who was able to produce a large number of cobbled tiles which matched the original tiles. From there, Matt’s team turned their focus to the pathway area.
“Before work could begin on the tiled pathway, certain areas needed to be cleared of vegetation and old paths so new concrete pads and steps could be laid”, says Matt. “Work on the path had to be coordinated with building extensions that were being made to increase the size of the carport. The tiling process required careful placement and cuts to achieve a clean, consistent look and tie in seamlessly with the existing architecture.
“The brick-paved pathways around the back side of the property had many intricate cuts and shapes. Before uplifting these areas, many photographs of the arrangements were taken to make sure they fit neatly back into place. Once uplifted, the old paver base had to be removed and replaced in most areas to ensure there was a firm platform to relay the pavers.
“While the pavers were removed, we upgraded the tired timber garden edging. As the gardens have long flowing curves, weathered steel garden edging was recommended due to its flexibility and its natural rusty colour which complimented the home’s earthy tones.”
Kay could not be happier with her updated landscape:
“With all of the drains working perfectly now, and the pathways finished, we will stay dry this winter. I’m so happy with how the pathways and gardens look - absolutely stunning! The tradesmen Matt works with are highly skilled and their quality of work is second to none.
“It actually turned out better than I had ever imagined. Matt was excellent at directing his tradesmen and the job at hand, which was great as I have no time to micromanage people. I could tell Matt what I wanted to be done and he handled the details. He even found a fabulous steel garden edging which finished the pathways off perfectly and works in very well with the look of the house. I would 100% recommend Matt to others, I already have!”
Zones provides free landscaping consultations all across New Zealand. If you would like to discuss your project, get in touch with a Zones specialist in your area.
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