Pro Tips with Calla Landscapes

Jordan, tell us a little about Calla Landscapes.
Calla Landscapes is a Landscape design studio based in Te Kowhai. I have always had a passion for watching spaces change for the better and dramatically wherever possible. I have lived in Raglan in the past, so I love any opportunity we get to pop over the hill and help create landscapes in Whāingaroa. We have been lucky enough to work on some awesome projects right across the country but do most of our work in the wider Waikato region.

Our primary services are Concept designs, 3D Models, Renders and Planting plans. We also provide a plant supply and placing service, which has been great for ensuring our designs are finished to a high standard. 

Landscaping often comes last in the building project. How can we best plan for a smooth finish line?
Having a clear design direction as early in the process as possible is always a great start. We find thinking of different outdoor areas as ‘rooms’ or an extension of the house is a great way to connect the house with the landscape. So it's best to start designing your landscape layout in conjunction with your floor plan. From there, it's just about making good plans and being a step ahead.

What are your top three tips for the design-to-execution process?

  1. Have a few design references for your project. Photos are often the best way to communicate this, especially if you crop them for the specific plants and materials you love. If you’re making a Pinterest board or something similar, it's great to collect inspirational photos but remember to refine for the project itself, not just your preferences in general.
  2. Hold initial ideas lightly. The design process isn’t always a straight line. If you’re hanging on to your first idea too tightly, you could miss an opportunity for something special as the design develops. Sometimes the first idea is the best, but often it's not.
  3. If working with a landscape designer, give honest feedback. You won’t hurt our feelings! One extra iteration can sometimes make all the difference. Whether it’s included in the cost of the design service or comes as an extra, it is always better to iron out any creases in the design phase rather than once you have started the build.

Why get a professional planting plan?
A Landscape Designer is going to know what plants will work where. Sometimes the difference between a plant thriving and dying is just a metre or two into position. Sun, soil structure, drainage, wind, all of these things can affect a plant's chances for survival. A planting plan will also be accompanied by a plant list and all necessary details, which is great for getting quotes from suppliers or landscapers.

Sisters Sanctuary, Rangitahi

How can we create a significant impact with a small space? We love the challenge of designing in a small space. For a dynamic and well-utilised space, we find it is even more important to use the vertical plane and not just think about the space in two dimensions. Your landscape designer might model your space in 3D or draw a perspective sketch to communicate what might be possible.Another great thing about small spaces is that you can often afford to invest in quality plants, products and materials because the volumes are lower. This means you can have a really designer-feeling space without breaking the bank. 

Any additional comments, Jordan?
We believe landscapes are for living in and enjoying, not endless maintenance and weekends on the hedge trimmer. We love helping our clients create spaces that dramatically impact and work within their budget and lifestyle. A well-thought-out landscape is an excellent investment, but it can be so much more than that! It can be a space to rest and reflect, a space to connect to nature and the broader landscape, and a place that brings whanau, friends and communities together.


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