We’ve put together a useful library of articles that share advice on outdoor renovations and landscaping projects. However it’s not possible to convey everything on a web-site so please get in touch with us for further advice, assistance or to discuss your project.
Show advice for: Landscape Design | Outdoor Rooms | Outdoor Kitchens | Planting Guides | Lawns and Grass | Swimming Pools | Pergolas and Decks | Lighting and Power | Driveways and Paths | Rainwater Systems | Retaining Walls | Fencing and Gates | Maintenance and Cleaning |
CABANA LIFE: 10 things to consider if you’re building a pool house or cabana
Today’s pool houses are a fun and functional extension of a home’s living space. If you’re looking to build a pool house or cabana to give you and your family and friends more room to relax this summer, here’s our guide to some of the most important things to consider.
Best Air-Purifying Plants
We look at the study by NASA revealing the plants most efficient at purifying air. Here is our pick for the top 5 super-power air-purifying plans.
What is xeriscaping and how to achieve it in a garden?
Xeriscaping is a landscaping concept that doesn’t require water, irrigation or regular maintenance. Xeriscaping is becoming more and more popular as people want to conserve resources such as water. But how can you implement this concept in your garden?
Plants that naturally repel slugs and snails
Snails or slugs, whatever you want to call them, are unwelcome garden visitors. Zones landscapers gives their best tips to prevent snails invading your garden.
Drop the garden hose, outdoor showers are here! With various types and materials available, creating an outdoor shower has never been easier. We will cover choosing the right type of outdoor shower, where to put it, and what to plant around it.
Plants that keep pesky mosquitoes at bay
It's the perfect summer evening as you're sitting down to have a delicious al-fresco meal when you hear it. The dreaded buzz of mosquitoes! Sound familiar? Bug repellent is an option but not a cure... Did you know basic planting work in your garden can keep mosquitoes at bay? Follow Zones Follow Zones Landscape Architect Nicola Vague’s tips for choosing plants that repel mosquitoes.
Waitakere Landscaping Specialists
Waitakere, located in Western Auckland, is a growing area that attracts both homeowners and visitors with its beautiful nature. From kauri trees, beaches to black sand beaches.. Waitakere has it all!
How can I turn my tiny backyard into something special?
Small outdoor space and are not sure what to do about it? Tiny backyards can be good looking and functional if you just know what to do. Read Zones Landscape Architect Nichola Vague’s tips on how to update your backyard space into something special.
How can I create a resort-style backyard at home?
The Zones landscaping team is often asked: ‘How can I achieve resort style landscaping at home.’ It’s a big topic so we asked Nichola Vague, Zones’ Landscape Architect in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, who has worked on landscaping projects at a number of major international resorts, to share her tips on how to create a resort style backyard that can be enjoyed all year round.
Outdoor Rooms FAQ
New Zealand is a nation of people in love with the outdoors. Well-designed outdoor rooms are attractive, inviting and practical. In this article, Zones landscaping designer Stuart Gill answers to the most frequently asked questions about outdoor rooms.
All you need to know about landscaping terms
About to embark on your landscaping adventure? Before you set off into the green distance, keep confusion at bay with this helpful glossary of terms and words to know from Zones landscape designer Nichola Vague.
Creating a sanctuary from native plants
New Zealand’s isolation from the rest of the world means that our much of our indigenous vegetation is unique to our three small islands. Colonisation brought with it a raft of invasive plants and pests, as well as logging and transformation of forest to farmland, and sadly only 10-15 percent of the country still exists in its original state.
How to create a container pool?
You grab your togs, towel, sunscreen and floating flamingo, and pop over to your neighbours’ for a quick dip in their new pool. You’ve always wanted a swimming pool of your own, but you’ve never been sure it’s worth all the hassle. All that digging, all that pool fencing – besides, you’re not even sure your backyard is big enough. Wait … is that a container?
How to create a bee-friendly garden
More than a third of the food we eat is reliant on bees for pollination. And it’s not just our food that bees sustain, even denim jeans wouldn’t be a reality without a healthy bee population. In this article, we give you tips and tricks to create your own bee-friendly garden.
Steve Strawbridge's Planting Planning Tips
Landscaping Expert Steve Strawbridge recommends some careful planning to achieve the great outdoors in your backyard.
Create your own vegetable garden
Why pay for vegetables when you can grow your own? Carly Flynn takes us on her journey of creating her very own vegetable patch at home and highlights the appeal of getting out there and getting your hands dirty.
Garden design trends for your outdoor living
Here is what’s growing hot and what’s not on the garden front.
Decking options for your outdoor living
It’s easy to write off a phrase like “good indoor-outdoor flow” as real estate jargon. There’s no denying, however, that a seamless flow from inside to outside is a great asset in a home.
Grow your own fruit and vegetables
Over the past decade we’ve started to see a shift in peoples’ attitude towards food. Questions are now being asked; Where does my food come from? Is this seasonal produce? Has it been grown sustainably and what nasty chemicals has it been exposed to? More and more of us are choosing to 'grow their own', and cut out the middle man. Lets get the facts on fruit and how to introduce exotic super foods into your own backyard.
American inspired urban garden designs
Times are changing. No longer are there ample green areas for a substantial piece of land in your backyard. The city is becoming more and more built-up with urban dwellings and apartments being designed to satisfy the demand for housing. From modern vege patches to rooftop greenery - we bring to you four gardens delivered in well thought out urban spaces - demonstrating options for living in high density locations.
There is something revitalising about being in nature, dining al fresco or even just soaking up the sun in your backyard. Getting your garden spruced up for outdoor entertaining will add valuable living space to your home.
How to create an outdoor eating space
Renovators have innumerable options for creating dream outdoor eating spaces; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. And it doesn’t have to break the bank – there are great options for both the budget-minded and those looking for a touch of luxe.
Tauranga Landscaping Specialists
It’s been said ‘Tauranga is the future’. With all the advantages of big city living and a booming economy, plus the relaxed vibe of a seaside resort, it’s not surprising.
How to choose the right outdoor lighting
Turn your outdoor area into a safe and welcoming night-time wonderland with carefully chosen lighting.
FAQs for driveways and paths
Creating a driveway or path on your property can be a tricky business. Using our Q&A will put you on track to mastering the art of placing concrete – from doing the groundwork, through to the cutting and curing.
How to use Karaka in your garden
When landscaping designs demand a leafy canopy tree, the native Karaka can be the perfect solution. And, while the glossy, dark green, leathery leaves are easily recognisable, it’s the bunches of brilliant orange fruit that make Karaka stand-out.
Outdoor covering options and prices
Don’t completely write-off your outdoor space for the cooler months. There are many ways that will make it last and feel comfortable for all types of weather. Here is just one option – outdoor area coverage – where we provide ideas and get estimated costs on shelter for your landscape design.
‘English Box’: planting and care instructions
When it’s dense green foliage, slow growth rate and ability to withstand close clipping, Buxus sempervirens or English Box has been a favourite for hedges and topiary for centuries.
A home made up of layers of louver-like concrete planters
In our increasingly dense urban environments a home design such as this foliage-rich stacked dwelling in Vietnam offers some clever ideas on how we can create a spacious, cost-effective and ecologically symbiotic living area on a limited terrain.
Kids vegetable gardens
There’s simply no better way of getting your kids to develop a love of vegetables than by growing their own. By seeing their seedlings spring to life and the fruits of their labour flourish, they will learn to experience the joy of munching on them too. This simple plan will help kick those little muddy thumbs into action.
Outdoor flooring options and prices
‘Solid composite decking’ and ‘porcelain stoneware pavers’ are the latest buzzwords when it comes to low-maintenance, long-wearing outdoor flooring solutions. Here’s why they are all the rage.
Xeriscapes - How to make a 'dry' garden work
With recreation time at a premium and a growing global concern for the supply of water, savvy gardeners are adopting Xeriscaping principles into every zone of their landscape design.
Country style gardens
Quaint, charming and quietly muscular, today’s country gardens influences draw on everything from rambling cottage backyards to the formal heritage estates of 17th Century England. With such a broad sweep of inspiration a country style garden may suit all manner of locations and tastes. Whether you live in a farmhouse, a villa or a ranch house, a well planned country style garden will not only be great to look at but should also productive too.
Things you need to know before creating an edible garden
Want to grow your own vegetable garden but don’t know how to go about it? Our six-step guide will get you off to a good start, covering everything from prepping your soil and choosing the most prolific crops, to organically bug-proofing your patch and giving it the TLC it needs to yield an abundant harvest.
Plant and care for ‘Pyramidalis’ hedges
It’s described as the conifer ‘for making exclamation marks’ in the garden, but thuja pyramidalis also makes a great hedge that requires little in the way of trimming to keep it in shape. Given its hardy nature, this attractive evergreen is finding its way into a surprising range of garden designs.
Create Indoor Outdoor Flow - Sliding door options
Blurring the line between indoor and outdoor spaces, sliding doors provide easy access to your garden or deck while letting in vast amounts of natural light, even when closed.
Macrocarpa - A stable yet soft surface solution for your outdoor living spaces
Macrocarpa is a softwood so durable and robust that it was originally used as railway sleepers. Add to that its attractive speckled lustre and high sustainability factor, and it’s easy to see why it is now also strongly favoured in landscaping for a multitude of uses, both practically and aesthetically.
Cupressus varieties for your garden
Cupressus, part of the wider conifer family, are perhaps better known to most gardeners as cypress. The tapering columns and conifer shapes are a familiar sight in landscape designs and many varieties make excellent tub specimens.
How to keep your garden free from aphids
Extremely destructive by nature, aphids (aka plant lice) can cause some serious damage to your garden. Find out how to keep your plants free from these horrid little pests – without resorting to harsh chemicals.
When planning your flower, vegetable or herb garden, it’s important to recognise that many plants have a naturally symbiotic relationship and encourage each other to fully thrive when grown in specific configurations.
Making a shaded garden work
Landscape architect and designer Rachael Farthing advises on how to make a small, shaded garden work with the change of season.
The art of topiary
Topiary – the practice of clipping and shaping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes – has become de rigueur again over the past decade. Which types of plants and trees are most suited to this practice and why?
An urban garden design in a New York townhouse
Complete with a cascading waterfall, fire pit and outdoor kitchen, this compact urban oasis is tucked away behind a typical New York Brownstone in the vibrant suburb of Brooklyn.
Enhancing a steep garden
Landscape architect and designer Rachael Farthing advises on ways to enhance a steep garden with options that suit your budget.
Rodney Landscaping Specialists
Rodney may be just an easy 30-minute drive from Auckland City, but as locals will tell you, it’s a world apart. With its mix of landscapes, relaxing indoor/outdoor living could have been invented for this area.
Colonial revival style gardens
A combination of classical gardening tradition, indigenous knowledge and rustic initiative gave way to Colonial revival gardens. Today, you can transform your backyard recreating local history in a contemporary style.
Japanese style gardens
Reflect and ponder while walking through your new Japanese-style landscape. We go through the essential elements to achieving your own personal inner Zen.
Vertical gardens on building facades
They date back as far as 600 BC when the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Fast forward a few thousand years and living walls – also known as green walls, vertical gardens and bio walls – are once again having their day in the sun.
North Shore Landscaping Specialists
With a relaxed vibe to life, the North Shore has experienced enormous growth with both new developments and existing home owners spending time and effort upgrading their backyards and entertainment areas.
Queenstown Landscaping Specialists
It’s not hard to see why Queenstown has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, and with it, the landscaping options that allow residents to fully enjoy the wonderful local climate.
Creating an interactive backyard
Hayley-Anne Brown, interior designer at Lou Brown, advises on how to create an interactive backyard where you can entertain lunch and dinner parties.
Tuscan style gardens
This guide of the principles and features of Tuscan gardens will spark your imagination and help you design an outdoor space that celebrates harmony and balance.
Kawakawa planting and care instructions
This guide will take you through how to care for your Kawakawa plant.
Desert style gardens
Desert style gardens are dry, simple and need little maintenance. Learn how you can transform your backyard into a beautiful, surreal oasis.
Things to consider before installing a swimming pool
There are a variety of factors to consider when deciding to invest in a swimming pool. Whether it’s the type of pool, installation, finish, or water type, you’ll want to make sure your choices serve your real needs.
French style gardens
Both productive and decorative, you can easily recreate your own French themed garden. These are some of the many elements of French flair that you can incorporate into your landscape design.
Wanaka landscaping specialists
Wanaka, the outdoor enthusiast’s dream region, has a laid-back vibe that makes for exciting landscape design that focuses on outdoor living and entertaining.
How to create fire pits and fireplaces to last and enjoy
Outdoor fire pits are very popular in landscaping. It’s a good option for those short on space as they create cosy spots perfect for entertaining guests.
Palm trees – planting and care instructions
For many of us, swaying palms epitomise the dream vacation; sun and surf, and relaxing with a cool drink under a coconut tree. Holiday bliss!
Tropical themed gardens are one of the most popular choices of backyard styles today. This is how you can transform your garden into your own tropical oasis.
How to maintain your garden for summer
Summer is coming and the chances are you’ll want to entertain family and friends in an outdoor space that doesn't take all your time maintaining it. Whether you have a large backyard or a patio, these are the most important things to keep in mind.
A cultured garden: English gardens
What exactly constitutes an English garden? Learn how to channel some landscaping history and mix eras, styles and themes to transform your backyard into a lush and fragrant ‘cultured garden’.
Things to consider before installing an outdoor shower
You don’t have to be an exhibitionist to enjoy showering outdoors. On a summer’s day, after a session at the beach, toiling in the yard or après workout, showering in nature is both practical and relaxing.
Swimming pool maintenance in New Zealand
There is one word that separates a swimming pool from a murky “frog pond,” the big M, maintenance.
FAQs for creating an outdoor kitchen
There’s something seriously enjoyable about dining Alfresco. Somehow the sun and fresh air makes food taste so much better. However, things really heat up when you bring the entire cooking experience outside.
Sun plants and ‘hot’ tips for sunny spots
Just as some of us are sun-lovers and others prefer a shady spot, so is it with garden plants; the amount of sun will dictate garden design and type of planting.
The urban garden
Long gone – from our major urban areas at least – are the quarter acre sections many of today’s homeowners grew up with. Modern housing pressures mean living in close proximity to one another has become the norm.
FAQs for gardens and planting
We look at the FAQs of home owners wanting to do gardening and planting.
How to choose the right grass for your home
If your quest is to find the perfect lawn for your property, you’re in the right place. Let’s stroll up the garden path with the right tools to find which grass is right for your home.
How to make a fire pit work for your outdoor space
We Kiwis love our indoor/outdoor flow, but relaxing outside is no longer restricted to firing up the barbie when the sun’s out.
Swimming pool design ideas
Nothing will make a bigger splash in your backyard like a swimming pool. From half-moon plunge pools to rock-lined resort sanctuaries, a pool can transform your section into an oasis of your dreams.
Tips and tricks for planting in a shaded garden
As sections shrink in size and houses become larger, many gardeners are faced with landscaping a space that enjoys more shade than sun.
Spanish style gardens
Spanish gardens famously celebrate warmth, intimacy and serenity. Privacy, symmetry and architectural rhythm are the hallmarks of their design.
How to achieve privacy in your backyard
With house sizes growing and section areas shrinking, life in the backyard can sometimes feel like living in a fish bowl. It’s time to get some privacy.
How to care for indoor plants
From anthuriums to peace lilies and palms, ferns, philodendron, orchids and many, many more – houseplants bring the outdoors in.
The benefit of solid composite products
When it comes to landscape requirements ‘low-maintenance’, is a phrase designers frequently hear; today, for many homeowners, outdoor space is about more enjoyment not more work.
With the introduction of solid composite products, your low-maintenance outdoor space has become more achievable than ever.
Hollywood Juniper planting and care instructions
The intriguing looking ornamental Kaizuka or Torulosa, is perhaps better known as Hollywood Juniper and its funky form makes it one of the more popular conifers with designers looking for a tree with attitude.
How to use companion planting in your garden
As the song says, ‘everything old is new again’ and for a growing number of gardeners that means embracing the centuries-old technique of companion planting – a system of grouping complementary plants together, that enables bed mates to take care of others planted with them.
Christchurch landscaping specialists
With its unique blend of city sophistication and rural heritage, plus breathtaking views stretching from the beach to the mountains, there’s something special about Christchurch.
Franklin landscaping specialists
With its rich red soil and temperate climate, the Franklin region has been the ‘vegetable basket’ for Auckland city and beyond, for generations.
Peach tree plant and care instructions
Smaller sections with no space for a traditional orchard, plus the trend towards edible gardens, are seeing old favourites take on new and exciting forms; peach trees are a delicious example.
Wellington landscaping specialists
When it comes to designing and landscaping amazing outdoor living areas, Wellingtonians can hold more than their own. The key is understanding the area’s unique weather patterns and soil types, then planning and planting accordingly.
How to plant and care for avocado trees
It’s hard to find a fruit that rates higher than the avocado; billed as ‘nutritious and delicious’, and listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most nutritionally complete fruit.
Peonies – Planting and care instructions
Peony or Paeony? Whatever the spelling they’re a glorious addition to any garden setting. They’re also famous for their longevity with reports of plants lasting over 50 years.
How to create the perfect lawn for your home
It’s a little ironic that as our lawns get smaller, there’s probably never been more information available on creating the perfect green space. So instead of doing tons of work trying to figure out where to start, we’ve compiled the essential information you need to begin creating that perfect lawn for your home.
How to plant and care for feijoa trees
When return on investment in the garden matters, think no further than the feijoa, a backyard staple that’s more popular than ever as newer cultivars produce higher yields of larger fruit for little effort.
How to best plant and care for apple trees
If the secret to good health and longevity is indeed an apple a day, then most Kiwis are well placed to live a long and healthy life. Here are some planting and care tips for apple trees, for both rural and urban gardens, to make sure that you get that apple a day.
Hydrangea planting and care instructions
When it comes to an explosion of colour in semi-shaded garden corners, it’s hard to get past hydrangeas. These showy shrubs have been around for generations but they’re enjoying renewed interest as different varieties - many ideal for smaller spaces or containers - have become available.
Landscape design that adds value to your property
If you’re looking to spruce up your home with a view to sell, the outdoors is the best place to start. There are a few tried and trusted ways to add an instant depth of character and appeal to your home if you’re looking to sell.
Auckland landscaping specialists
In Auckland even the most modest dwelling will invariably boast a colourful garden plot, and the regions diverse range of ‘open’ gardens attract a wide range of visitors, both local and international.
10 steps to choosing the right landscaping specialist
TV tells us that DIY is easy – it’s in our DNA. So why should we hire a professional landscaper instead of doing it ourselves? Put simply, landscaping can be tricky. Here are ten steps you can follow to ensure you choose the right landscaping specialist.
How to create an inviting outdoor space
Fiona Shine, director of Se3, answers how to make your outdoor area an inviting space for you and your guests.
How to achieve a low maintenance outdoor space
Teamturf answers how to achieve a low-maintenance outdoor space.
Auckland Garden Design Festival 2015
Come and be inspired by some of the country’s best garden designers at this year’s Auckland Garden DesignFest.
Affordable outdoor design ideas
Lead designer, Hayley-Anne Brown from Lou Brown Interior Design, answers readers question about simple and affordable design ideas they can use to prepare their outdoor for spring.
Solutions for small gardens
Do you have limited or no garden space? We take a look at a clever solution to grow your own garden in the city.
Adding a deck to your outdoors
We all love those long summer nights when we can sit outside, enjoy a barbeque and entertain friends on the deck. Outdoor living has become so much a way of life that for many renovators, timber decks are now a must-have design feature in any makeover.
Shade and protection for outdoor areas
There are a lot of options out there for shade and protection over your outdoors areas. Here are some tips and advice for choosing the right one.
A tropical garden landscape introducing flow
When Mike and Genevieve Broadbent decided to renovate their backyard in Herne Bay, they did so to make a statement. Their beautiful house would be well at home with a traditional classic look. But Mike opted for a resort style landscape.
Resort style garden landscape
The coastal winds of Tindalls Bay have driven a change of scenery. A simple large driveway receives some therapy to become a calming, peaceful and exquisite resort style garden landscape.
Create indoor-outdoor flow
Renovators have innumerable options for creating dream outdoor eating spaces; it’s just a matter of knowing where to look. There are great options for both the budget-minded and those looking for a touch of luxury.
Tips for choosing the correct decking finish option
Choosing the correct decking finish can be a confusing process. How do you know which option is the best one for your needs?
Small garden landscape design
Opposing angles from an existing retaining wall and steps with an angular entrance might have challenged many ‘reno’ experts but landscape designers, Matt McIssac and Designer Jules Moore, took this renovation to a different level.
Improve drainage in your backyard
Here are some solutions to aiding drainage in your backyard to help improve growth of your plants, vegetables and fruit.
Decorative fencing to complement your home
Technological advances have made way for new and innovative high-end decorative fencing and screening systems.
Winter gardening projects
Winter is the perfect time to plan and undertake bigger landscaping projects such as paving, as you’ll find it’s much more comfortable than working in the hot summer sun.
Cedar cladding restoration
An exterior restoration by TimberTECH transformed a tired brick and cedar home in Greenlane.
Deck balustrades maximise your view
Use balustrades to optimise the outlook from your deck as well as providing safety for you and your family. Noel Priestly from Provista provides different options.
Titoki Trees - Planting and care instructions
The Titoki tree is a popular urban Native that has attractive glossy green leaves and a spreading canopy. With it’s small red fruits, the Titoki attracts native birds such as the New Zealand Wood Pigeon and it’s leaves and oil are a natural insect repellant
How to maintain your property for Spring
After the cold and wet winter months, it’s time for the annual spring clean. Make use of the warmer weekends to repair any damage caused by storms or excess moisture, and get your home and garden ready for the coming months.
A natural way to protect wood
The elements can be very harsh on our decking and cladding – it’s worth investing a little bit of time and labour to protect them and keep them looking their best.
Top 10 New Zealand gardening trends
Create the ideal garden for your requirements with our top 10 New Zealand gardening trends.