The last time we visited the couple in Wellington, they were designing and planning their low-maintenance garden of their dreams. Now we look at the approval process of achieving council consent for the go ahead.
WORDS Sharon Stephenson
Wellington Zones landscaping specialist Steve Strawbridge calls it a “positive holding pattern”.
He’s referring to the 650sqm Silverstream section he and his wife Rochelle are landscaping for clients who bought the property in September 2015.
- Steve, landscaping specialist
Council consent for an outdoor room
“We’ve been through the council process and now we’re just waiting for the weather to improve so we can start the construction and planting,” he says.
The last time we spoke to Steve, he was about to submit plans to the Upper Hutt City Council. His vision for the site was to create an outdoor room, which the owners could utilise year-round.
Having moved from a damp, hilly section in Khandallah, the owners wanted to make the most of their flat, sun-drenched garden.
“What they want is a low-maintenance design that incorporates lots of seating areas. The plan includes a pergola and lots of strategic planting to create separation of the different areas of the section.”
Building a timber pergola
The key to Steve’s design is a timber-framed pergola, who polycarbonate roof slants 400mm, to ensure it doesn’t intrude on the environment.
“We filled out an Assessment of Environmental Impacts (AEM), which ensure that it doesn’t have a visual, environmental or community impact. As the pergola can only be seen 40cm above the fence-line, the Council was happy with it.”
Same goes for the plan to construct it one metre from the west boundary.
“Everything has gone without a hitch. In fact, the only thing the clients asked us to change, was to reduce the number of fruit trees on the northern boundary from five to three, to allow them space for a worm farm and rain housing system.”
Work is slated to begin in mid-August, which should mean drier conditions.
“The clay soil in Silverstream can be pretty messy in winter, so the owners wanted to wait until August when, hopefully, the builders and concrete guys won’t trail mud everywhere.”
It’s also when Steve’s horticulturalist, Katie Bailey, will put her detailed planting schedule into action.
“Once the hard structures are in, we can confirm the types of trees and shrubs to ensure we’ve got the right balance of colour and foliage, and that they’re in the right place for sun and shade. It’s also when we’ll start building up the planter boxes.”