Nothing beats a good outdoor area. It’s a place to entertain, to relax, to watch the kids play, to grow vegetables or to just simply sit back and admire. Landscaping can really make or break your home.

Erik Ellis Landscapes owner, Dr Erik Ellis, knows landscaping like the back of his hand. He began Erik Ellis Landscapes in 1993 and has taken landscaping as far as Seattle and Japan.

You could almost say he was destined for landscape design. His father worked as the chair of Wood Science at Canterbury University while his mother was an artist and art tutor, the perfect blend of nature and creativity.

Every Saturday as a child, Erik remembers his father making him get out and do the gardening. Rather than deterring him from landscaping it solidified his interest.

Erik studied horticulture at Lincoln University gaining a PHD. He paid his way through study by maintaining people’s gardens.

When designing the perfect outdoor space, Erik doesn’t plan from the beginning like most. He starts at the end result.

“I base my designs on how the garden will look in the future. Most people will work around the features such as putting in a pergola and a water feature and then planting around it,” he says.

This may work fine for some, but the issue with planting around features is that people don’t take into consideration what the plants will look like as they mature. Often these features, that were the main focus, become hidden by the maturing plants around them.

Individual needs are a huge consideration when creating the perfect space. The first question Erik asks his clients is “how long are you going to live here?”

This simple question determines a lot about the space. A couple that want to live in their home until their dying day have the time to nurture their plants and watch them mature, whereas someone who will be selling in a couple of years may want a more instantaneous approach.

So what is the perfect landscape design? The truth is there isn’t one. Everyone’s vision of ‘perfect’ is so unique there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach.

“I try and provide what people want rather than come in and tell them what to do,” Erik says.

Whatever it is you want; a space to entertain, to relax, to watch the kids play, to grow your own vegetables or to just simply admire, Erik Ellis Landscapes will work with you to find the perfect solution.

Erik Ellis Landscapes – 36 Tuawera Terrace, Sumner, Christchurch, 027 431 0582, info@erikellis.co.nz, www.erikellis.co.nz

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