Case Study: A Water Garden in Normandale


As an example, Jon was asked to come up with a concept and planting plan for Dean & Barbara Winyard in Normandale. They had made a start to develop their garden, but were stuck on what to do with the back part of the section, and had differing points of view.

The back part of the section is on the southern part of the section, with excellent sea views to the south, and views to the river and hills to the east. It is mostly flat, with a bank at the back. The soil was exposed greywacke on the bank.

It had an existing shade house on site. The house had a Tuscan colour theme, and the existing planting had that feeling to it, with clipped hedges, and Mediterranean plants.

We decided that the shade house was ideal to use as a restful outdoor room to sit in, and have hanging baskets and tubs.

The garden as a whole needed a focal point, and a water feature was decided upon. A seated area next to the water feature made from similar coloured rocks was used as a tranquil setting.

There needed to be a connection between this part of the garden and the lower gardens to the left, so a path was included to go to the left. To make use of the sea and river views, a seat on the higher area at the back was suggested.

The paths were made using brick edges and lime chip and shell infill. The paths, garden edges and seat were built by Horokiwi paving.

Lighting was incorporated near the water feature, seat, shadehouse and pathways. This was installed by Water Dynamics, along with the water feature.

The planting was predominantly Mediterranean in style, with plants such as rosemary, lavender, salvia, and santolina. To link with the existing clipped plants, a box and corokia hedge were used, and a standard olive, willow and kowhai were planted.

Jon helped the client buy good quality locally grown plants, laid them out, and the client planted them.

Plant schedule

Botanical name Common name No Comments
Agapanthus orientalis Agapanthus 12 Blue flowers
Buxus sempervirens Box 15 Hedge
Ceanothus 'Yankee Point' Californian lilac 4 Grows to 60cm with spreading habit. Deep blue flowers.
Choisya ternata Mexican orange blossom 4 Scented leaves, white flowers
Cistus 'Snowmound' Rockrose 4 Shrub to 1m, white flowers
Corokia virgata Corokia 8 Grey-leaves hedge trained to 1.5m.
Geranium sp. Geranium 4 Red flowering species
Hebe 'Wiri Vision' Hebe 4 Low shrub with reddish flowers.
Lavendula dentata French lavender 3 Grey scented leaves, blue flowers.
Olea europea Olive 1 Grey leaves. Train as standard.
Rosmarinus 'Lockwood de Forest' Rosemary 12 Trailing rosemary with blue flowers.
Rosemarinus 'Tuscan Blue' Rosemary 2 Upright to 60cm, blue flowers.
Salvia 'Blue Skies' Sage 4 Grows to 60cm, with blue flowers.
Santolina chamaecyparissus Santolina 5 Greyish leaves
Salix repens 'Argentea' Standard willow 1 Greyish leaves on standard.
Sophora 'Dragons Gold' Standard kowhai 1 Yellow flowers.


  1. Use chipped branches as mulch.
  2. Use topsoil with 20% compost to build up garden beds.
  3. Irrigation contact: Water Dynamics ph 234 8624.


  1. Flagstones set in mortar mix.
  2. Holland edging pavers set in mortar mix, butt-edged.
  3. Shell/limestone chip mix laid over lime-stabilised basecourse.
  4. Water feature to be built up using topsoil mix, with sand laid under feature.
  5. Sandstone stones to be selected from Valley Landscapes, Lower Hutt.
  6. Steps to seat to be made using sleepers set in with reinforcing rods, with lime chips/shell for tread.
  7. Seat to be simple construction- 2 posts with dressed 200.50 on top.
  8. Stone seat to have stone facing set into bank.
  9. Pergola to use 100.100 H4 posts set 2.4 m apart in square shape, beams 200.50 H3, rafters 125.50 H3 set 600mm apart.

Client comments

"Jon combined our ideas into a very attractive area capturing our requirement for colour, shape and ease of maintance. The waterfall feature we wanted as the centre piece has worked very well for positioning and relaxing sounds. Once the young plants mature the area will look even more attractive. Thank you Jon for your expert advice." Dean & Barbara Winyard



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