Case Study: This site in Lower Hutt had a number of issues


This site in Lower Hutt had a number of issues:

  1. The bank at the back was very steep. There had been slips due to wet weather, so it needed to stabilized as well as beautified.
  2. Initially there was gorse and ivy on the bank, both of which are undesirable weeds. The overhanging vegetation also was shading the house, so the aim was to let more light in.
  3. The steep driveway at the front was in a poor state, so needed replacing.
  4. There were 2 large pine trees that needed removing, as they were growing right over the steep bank, and were unstable.


  1. To stabilize the bank, a wooden crib wall was built at the base to a height of 1.4m (over 1.5 m you need a building consent). This secured the toe or base of the slope. It was backfilled with drainage pebbles which were decorative, and the timber painted black to link in with the house.
  2. The bank was cleared of gorse, scrub and ivy, minimizing any destabilizing damage to the bank. Ponga logs were fixed to the bank to help hold the bank but also train climbers up it. Climbers include the native clematis and climbing rata.
  3. The driveway was laid with exposed aggregate concrete with black oxide to darken, and brick edges and inlays.
  4. The pines were removed and native plants that bind the bank planted eg flax.



    Client comments


    We employed the Services of Jon Muller to landscape our property. 

    As do many Wellingtonians, we live on the side of a fairly steep hill.  Our land is north facing and being mainly clay, the soil is difficult to grow anything other then fine specimens of gorse and the odd seedling pine. 

    The other test we had was potential for land slides.  We definitely didn’t want to be digging up the side of the hill and ending up with the neighbour’s property on top of ours.  We had also fairly recently, prior to hiring Jon, suffered a major land slip due to serious flooding.  This work was definitely not without its challenges.

    Our requirements were for Jon to tidy the property.  Make it look attractive but afterwards it should require little to minimum maintenance as we are a full time working family.

    We were very happy with the results.  Jon completed everything from design right through to making the design a real living thing of low maintenance beauty!  There were no surprises and he touched base every day to ensure that work was progressing to ensure we were happy with what was being done at the various stages. 

    One of the things about Jon is his unique style to keep things kiwi.  Jon embraces NZ’s native flora and fauna.  Even the landscaping materials were in keeping with a naturally NZ flavour using ponga and river stone which contrast but enhance each other.

    It was our great pleasure to engage Jon Muller to complete this project.  We not only got a very experienced and successful project manager, landscaper but felt we made a friend also.

    Bella & Neil Anderson


    Member of Landscaping New Zealand      

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    PO Box 13-402, Wellington; ph: 04 477 4744; mobile: 0274 794 195
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