Terraced garden - raised planters, decks, and stone

On this steep coastal Christchurch hillside site, the 2011 earthquakes damaged the driveway rock walls on the lower section and caused significant drainage issues on the upper section, behind the house.

Our brief was to reconstruct the rock walls on the lower section and to design and build a functional outdoor living area on the upper section of the property.

A challenging site with many existing problems to solve, our landscape design utilises hardwood deck boardwalks and massive recycled sleeper steps to gain height throughout the steepest areas of the property. The decks and steps lead to a circular cobblestone paved area with a built-in wooden seat nestled in a curved stone amphitheatre. This design maximises the use of the only level area on the property. From here, tucked out of the easterly wind, there are great views out over Christchurch towards the Alps.

Corten steel planters on the deck provide easy to manage garden beds. The colour of these planters as they oxidise works well with the decking and sleeper steps. And, as the planting becomes established, the retaining walls will be hidden by hardy natives, the green of which will soften the overall effect of all the hard surfaces.

Watch the video to see how challenging this site is!