Garden on shores of Lake Wakatipu wins supreme landscaping award

A distinctly Lake Wakatipu landscape, which embraces native planting and supports local wildlife, has won the supreme award at the New Zealand Landscapes of Distinction Awards.

The awards were handed out in Auckland on Saturday night and the garden on a Mt Creighton property won the top award.

The garden was created by Green Therapy, a Christchurch design and landscaping business.

The sustainable project includes 98% native planting and was titled “Bob’s Cove Retreat”. It was praised by the judging panel as a harmonious space alongside Lake Wakatipu, with a strong connection and contribution to the wider environment.

“It is perched on a sloping site, with many soil types, shifting water courses and is subject to both animal and plant pest species. The project embodies strong environmental practices such as eco-sourcing, pest control, reuse of on-site resources, water management and client education,” the judges said.

“Many of the natives planted on the site are eco-sourced seeds from the local area, mulch was sourced from locally wind-felled trees and cut-down exotic species were left on site to rot away.

“During the development process, the client has become an eco-warrior, with a great desire to continue the pest weed clean-up on the adjoining Te Papa Atawhai (Department of Conservation) land. The owner has become so invested in the garden and its connection to the wider landscape around it that he is now committed to clearing many exotic weeds from the surrounding Doc land and river edges.”

Green Therapy owner Bryce Coulter said Bob’s Cove Retreat was a unique project due to the extreme climate conditions so hardiness and plant species selection were critical to success.

Arrowtown landscaping business Kate Campbell Gardens also won one of the elite New Zealand Landscapes of Distinction Awards for her work on The Elms, Lake Hayes Residences.

The project won the premier award for garden management/maintenance and a gold medal in the residential project garden management/maintenance for properties of more than 400sqm.

The Elms’ gardens, which were designed by Suzanne Turley, are on a steep north-facing slope that has uninterrupted views of Lake Hayes and the mountains beyond. The gardens are formed around three apartments. The gardens sympathetically complement a historic Ulmus glabra — a horizontal elm in the formal common entrance with layers of evergreen hedging, back planted with shrubs and additional trees.

More than 130 projects from around the country were entered into the Landscapes of Distinction Awards. Award-winning projects represent the top echelon of landscaping design and construction in the country.

Entries were 50% up on last year.

Other Otago businesses to win awards were: Design + Garden Landscapes, Diva Landscapes, Green Therapy, Kate Campbell Gardens, Lakes Landscapes, Natural Habitats and Neville Stewart Landscaping.

staff reporter

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