Retirement Village Gardens

[slideshow id=17]

We are proud to have been associated with the design and planting of Ryman’s 21 Villages throughout New Zealand and their awards winning gardens, from Invercargill to Whangarei. Because of their wide range of climatic variations present throughout the country we are confident that we can create a garden in almost any terrain or area.

We also have experience in a wide range of amenities from; golf courses, tennis courts, bowling greens, pools, indoor plantings and large atriums.

Here are a few examples taken from a variety of villages.

Pottager Gardens

[slideshow id=9 w=600 h=450]

Raised gardens are a practical option for those who want to save their backs and enjoy the pleasure of growing your own vegetables.

The Amuri or Limestone chip paths frame the raised boxes and provide necessary access to pick those vegetables on a winter’s day or provide access for those tools and wheelbarrow.

Gone are the days of when the vegetable garden was hidden at the back of a site. These gardens can be planned, be practical and a visual asset too. Large herb urns or strawberry planters can be a focal point. Surrounding hedges i.e. feijoas, cranberries, rosemary, lavender and other herbs can also be productive in the own right.

A sustainable garden can be achieved. Glasshouse and compost bins can be included in the scheme. While standard forms e.g. topiary bay trees, box hedges, roses, and herbs can all enhance a formal design if required. Follow the trend and grow your own…

Tennis Court

[slideshow id=8 w=600 h=450]

In the beginning… the neighbours house and fantastic red barn are in full view from this lifestyle block. There is no sign of the garden or tennis court out back.

The court was prepared and laid before the driveway was completed to protect the surface of the sealed driveway from any damages from construction vehicles and equipment.

This area can be seen in its infancy. Native mounds screen the court at one end and tie in with the other natives in the wider gardens. But the tennis court area has remained an area where perennials flourish. Roses climb upwards on the tennis poles and help soften the wires. Mexican Orange Blossom are now formed and clipped, and Robinia ‘Mop Top’s frame each service line.

A heavy Pergola marches out from the back door to this area. A 3m wide Amuri stone path also acts as a Petanque Court for those that prefer a less energetic pursuit. Wisteria/ Laburnum and even a Kiwifruit or two now entwine over this pergola.

A gazebo has appeared out the back of the court. The power is even out there for a spa or tennis court lighting. The gazebo is a picture in the summer with the older fashioned climbing roses ‘Claire Martin’ and standard and bush ‘Strawberry Ice’ roses encircle by the Escallonia hedge.

The post and rail fence behind the gazebo hides the new beginnings of an espaliered Lime tree walk and new Orchard area. The cattle have gone, but the three other paddocks offer grazing for the neighbour’s horses. The putting green and sand bunker do not get much use now, but the playground is still a favourite in the eyes of children.

Pathways and Features


[slideshow id=6 w=600 h=450]

Amuri stone/limechip path is beginning. Treated timber edging is set out according to dimensions. Some digging and energy is required! Stone paths must all be compacted, levelled and prepared in the much same way as other paths. The waterless pond can be seen in the background and so can the neighbour’s house.

Some years later…

The Viburnum box hedges are well grown. The perennials are established. Climbing roses are marching up the pergola. The weeping silver pears set off the entry to the little office courtyard and the reticulating water feature is a focal point at the centre of the vista. The standard Icebergs and lavender herald the way from the opposite aspect past the herb garden outside the kitchen. Summer or winter this area still retains a special image.

No sign of the neighbours now.

Plant Combinations


[slideshow id=10 w=600 h=450]

Some form of accent often helps brighten and entry point. The old fashioned Geraniums often do well in a container of some sort!

Added perennials can highlight the various seasons as shown by the autumn flowering Anemone hybrid.

Seasonal colour can also be added with spectacular foliage of some species, for instance here the weeping Maple and Dogwood.

Hanmer Springs Holiday Home


[slideshow id=14 w=600 h=450]
This little Hanmer Garden had no outside living or garden when I was first asked to plan for future enjoyment. It was exposed to the street. The brief was to screen off some of the area, especially outside the bedroom, whilst leaving the wider view open to Conical Hill. Plus the garden had to be easy care and fairly self sustainable, as it was a holiday home and Hanmer has extremes of temperature.

Now the Wisteria/Clematis well covers the small bedroom deck courtyard and trellis provides shelter from the sun and wind, and ‘L’ shaped seating gives a place to sit and enjoy some shade and privacy.

The Silver birches are now well grown, but their open habit and deciduous nature do not screen out valuable winter sun. The open wrought iron fence does not close in the section from view, but now keeps the grandchildren and dog contained.

The back area is not uninteresting too, and can be viewed from the rear window. A large urn flanked by two Weeping Silver Pears just adds to the charm.

Driveway Landscaping


[slideshow id=4 w=600 h=450]

On this lifestyle block the mounds at the front entry were the first gardens to be planted. Large volcanic rocks were put in place with a loader and mounds formed. The before and after shots show how the native plants have grown very quickly established themselves.

The driveway; in the beginning there was the loader… The preparation and sowing of the front lawns was next, everyone helped. The driveway trees are planted, but there is no formed drive yet. But soon, with the passage of a few short years, the curved driveway is in, and the ‘bridge’ is a feature between the pond and the bog garden opposite.

The cut leaf plane trees have now established well to create a grand entry to enhance the journey to the front door.

Lifestyle Block Gardens


[slideshow id=13 w=600 h=450]
Lifestyle blocks come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some before and after shots of some planned gardens.

A garden is a living dynamic, nothing stays the same. But if you plan for tomorrow, you and others will get the benefits of creating a beautiful setting that future generations can enjoy.

Lifestyle blocks can offer lots of challenges and contain many different briefs. Everyone has their own ideas of the perfect setting.

But we can help you achieve your goals. Make your dreams a reality, by achieving the setting to suit your lifestyle.

Some briefs can be more difficult to achieve. I bet the guys here in the photo did not think that a trip in a dingy to plant an island would have been on their job description! But I do feel sure the final landscape will be worth the effort.

Water Feature | Lap Pool

[slideshow id=7 w=600 h=450]

In the beginning this was just a gapping clay hole in the middle of the house. The dream was to create a sheltered courtyard, away from the wind. The vision was to build not only a swimming pool but a small lap pool with a formal shape that could be viewed from the moment one stepped over the threshold of the house. As well as acting as a focal point of the residence.

Ponga and ferns now flourish in the back corner. The lady with the vase spills water into the pool at one end. Chatham Island Forget-me-nots now flower in the shaded corner, and two well grown Pseudopanax soften the sunny side, under planted with small grasses.

The pool looks beautiful with its soft lighting at night. This area is functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing when not in use.

© Copyright Sullivan Landscaping Ltd