Many local homeowners can credit their lush gardens and outdoor living to the talent and vision of Howick landscape designer Lynn Cairney, of Fusion Landscape Design.
A down to earth, straight talking person Lynn is as much at home with a spade in her hand as she is with a pen behind a drawing board. Her passion for beautiful gardens means she will devote as much of her creative energy to a small townhouse plot as she will to a lifestyle property.
This award-winning designer whose Ellerslie Flower Show efforts have earned her two supreme awards, is never too busy to talk to homeowners regardless of the size of their property or their budget.
“Some people think competition success means I don’t have the time or the inclination to take on a small suburban property.
While Lynn has been known to dig in with her clients she often has to remind them that landscape designers are not necessarily gardeners.
“A designer’s job is to consult with clients then come up with concept drawings and design plans. This involves measuring and evaluating soil, drainage and section levels before drawings can be started.”
She adds no two jobs are the same and her level of input can vary. Sometimes she is asked for concept drawings only; sometimes a planting and landscape schedule that clients can themselves tackle in stages.
“I offer everything from consultation through to total project management. But I always say a job done right at the beginning will avoid problems later and provide long term pleasure.
Dave and Lynn of Howick are one couple who were sceptical about the merits of using a landscape designer. Nevertheless they rang Lynn and after discussion offered her a commission – half their front garden.
“Though they were tentative at first, it worked out well and I went on to do the second half. Now, this year I’m working on plans for the back garden.”
And, of course, February is the perfect time to be planning a garden. “Consultation, drawings and hard landscaping can be started while the weather is warm and dry and planting can be carried out in autumn,” Lynn says. “By next summer a new garden should be looking lovely.”
She also offers this advice to homeowners planning to landscape:
• Don’t be dictated to by trends
• Gardens mean different things to different people
• Choose plants to suit your lifestyle
• You can never go wrong with creative indoor/outdoor flow
• An attractive garden will add value to your home