We follow a family oriented couple in Wellington as they go through the process of designing and installing their low maintenance landscape design; starting with the initial stages of planning and getting Council approval.

WORDS Sharon Stephenson

A desire to be closer to family was the motivation behind these Wellington homeowners’ move from Khandallah to Silverstream.

But a change in location also brought with it a challenge: adjustment from a damp, hilly section to a flat, sundrenched site. Steve and Rochelle Strawbridge from Zones Landscaping Specialists in Wellington were called in to help the owners make the best use of their 650sqm corner section.

Landscape design specifications

“They’re getting closer to retirement so wanted a low maintenance home and garden, which they could enjoy with their grandchildren and friends,” says Steve.

“They’re getting closer to retirement so wanted a low maintenance home and garden, which they could enjoy with their grandchildren and friends."
- Steve, landscaping specialist

A large, north-facing area to the rear of the house was, he adds, “just another lawn to mow”.

“Instead, the owners wanted to utilise it as an outdoor room they could use year-round.”

Backyard with no landscape design

Planning a pergola

Steve, a former builder, anchored the concept designs around a large pergola.

“In keeping with the owners’ desires for a low maintenance structure, we proposed a pergola with a timber frame, probably macrocarpa, which provides some texture and interest. We also suggested a polycarbonate roof, which cuts down the UV light, but means they can use the area even when it’s raining.”

The design also wraps the perimeter of the space with oodles of built-in seating, which will double as storage. Again, the timber won’t be stained, but will likely be hardwood timber, in accordance with the owners’ desire for an easy care space.

“In keeping with the owners’ desires for a low maintenance structure, we proposed a pergola with a timber frame, probably macrocarpa, which provides some texture and interest."
- Steve, landscaping specialist

Hardscaping

“They also don’t want cobblestones or tiles, so we’re proposing coloured concrete cut to look like pavers.”

The owners’ large fish tank has been incorporated into the design, as well as a utility space that will house a worm farm. These will be screened from the seating area by strategic planting. While Steve and Rochelle have incorporated planter boxes, they say the bulk of the plants will be planned once the design has Council sign off.

“Zones Landscaping is all about double-checking the plans and meticulously managing the process for the owners."
- Rochelle, landscaping specialist

“We had to relook over our initial designs because it’s a corner section where one of the roads is a major thoroughfare. Therefore, any structure has to be six metres from the boundary. But we’ve tweaked the design and are confident we’ll get it through Council.”

Final thoughts

Rochelle says that’s the beauty of the Zones Landscaping process. “Some landscaper would have automatically assumed they didn’t need consent and then the owners would have come unstuck when they decided to sell. But Zones Landscaping is all about double-checking the plans and meticulously managing the process for the owners.”

You can find more about this outdoor landscape project in "Stage 2: Council approval process for a low maintenance landscape design".

 
*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.