Over on stuff.co.nz I’m talking about landscaping, something that is completely outside of our scope. We can grow plants, we’ve got a bunch of them germinating at the moment, but knowing that they’re going in the right place and that they’re not going to die instantly…that’s a whole other kettle of kippers.
Happily, we’ve been working with Renee Davis, Head of Landscape Architecture and Design at Unitec and also a general awesome lady. It’s been a really great process for us, mostly because it’s something so new to us and also because Renee has both held our hands through it and pointedly steered us in what feels like the right direction all along the way. I mean look at that plan - comprehensive enough for us to not stuff up!
So a little more on the process? To start with, Renee worked out a site inventory and analysis of soil, drainage, climate conditions, and existing vegetation. Obviously you don’t want to be planting things that are going to curl up their toes and die within months of you planting them, because that costs you cash (and there’s no point planting a tree somewhere your Mr BuildingBoxes really wants a shed). This was a process of discovery for us, we knew we wanted the Lego Engineer and Destruction Specialist to have plenty of room to run around, we wanted to grow a whole lot of vegetables and fruit, we wanted to use as much of the natural features of the plot as possible as about a third of it is covered in bush, and I wanted to be able to dry the washing! This last one goes against the “pretty” of the landscape design, but it’s a practical consideration that has to work for us – because we’re all about keeping our power bill at a bare minimum and with a south facing section, the options are somewhat limited.
We’re building the decks ourselves (just another of the things we’ve added to our potentially foolishly long list). Renee has helped work in how to integrate the vege beds and decks so that I’ll be able to stagger out of bed with a view of my office and the veges, get all inspired, and then potter my way through the broccoli to my desk. In the midst of house sitting through a plethora of different types of houses biggish and tiny, I’m keeping that glorious thought of deck/vege/room of my own on a pedestal. Can’t wait!
Renee does take on some private clients – in her tiny amount of spare time – the woman is super busy! But you can get hold of her through her website.
A family of four: writer, scientist, lego engineer and destruction specialist. Our previous home is featured in New Zealand Interior Style and this new project promises to provide plenty of great, green, smart and maybe madcap solutions to new building in New Zealand.