Green Gables yard - 40 Dyer Street, Whangarei
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10 Apr 2016

Outdoor kitchens

Outdoor grilling and barbeques are a huge part of New Zealand’s culture. We have such lovely weather, especially in the summer, so spending time outdoors is a given. What could be better than having an outdoor kitchen allowing you to enjoy the outdoors while keeping the excess heat from cooking out of your home? Whether you just want to throw something on the barbie for a simple meal, or you want to socialise with your mates outside and dine al fresco, an outdoor kitchen will be an investment you’ll never regret!

Warm weather is the perfect excuse for backyard gatherings with family and friends. No party is complete without great food, which is why we tend to do a lot of our socialising over the barbeque. However, anyone who’s had a Kiwi barbie knows how annoying it is to constantly make trips into the house to grab drinks from the fridge or use the sink. Having a fully equipped outdoor kitchen will allow you to do all your food prep and cooking outdoors and with everything you need close by. An outdoor kitchen can even be quite budget-friendly, so there are loads of options for everyone.

To start with, you won’t have a true outdoor kitchen without a good grill or barbecue. Many come built-in today in outdoor kitchens. An outdoor cooktop or wood-burning pizza oven would allow you to create some amazing meals right at home. The addition of a sink and small fridge would mean that there would be no need to head inside to wash up and drinks would be right on hand. Let’s not forget precious counter space and cabinets! Outdoor kitchen counters give you a place to assemble hamburgers, pile up the sausages, or whip up a fresh salad.

Most outdoor kitchen appliances come in stainless steel and look fantastic. You want to make sure your kitchen and landscaping look just as great so your entire outdoor area has a cohesive theme. A well-maintained backyard, appropriately placed walkways, and some potted plants create a charming outside environment. Planting a small vegetable garden nearby would be a great idea. A herb garden, which is relatively easy to grow, will be of so much value when you’re doing your outdoor cooking. An outdoor kitchen should be fuss-free, which goes hand-in-hand with our casual and relaxed attitude. You may even end up cooking in your outdoor kitchen all year round.

The ideal complement to your outdoor kitchen is an outdoor dining area. Make sure it’s close by and covered with a shade such as a canopy or large umbrella so you can enjoy outdoor dining whether rain or shine. Choose furniture that is weatherproof for an all-weather dining area. Lighting is important, both in your kitchen and dining area, because you want to make sure you can entertain outside after the sun goes down. Shades or screens provide some privacy from neighbours.

The team at Green Gables would love to create your concept design in advance, no matter your budget, so you have a kitchen that fulfills all your needs at a price you can afford.

Residential landscaping


Residential landscaping


Residential landscaping

10 Apr 2016

Planning your landscape project

A. Goals and budget

  • What do you NEED, and what do you WANT?
  • What are you hoping to achieve? What activities do you want to support or make possible?
  • What are your timeframes?
  • What is your approximate budget for this investment?
  • Any other constraints?


B. Ideas

  • Grab a manila folder, a filing box, or an account at or
  • Start collecting images and articles
  • Start sketching and/or making notes
  • Look over the Green Gables services pages and gallery pages
  • Get in touch with us to make a time to sit down with a Green Gables landscaping expert – free, no-obligation
  • Complete your design


C. Arrange your finances

  • Ask your Green Gables landscaping expert for an indication of the investment level for your various ideas
  • Compare the total of your needs and wants with your budgeted investment
  • Consider making use of your mortgage or revolving credit facility, as this is probably the cheapest finance you can obtain (if necessary)


D. Get started

  • Your Green Gables landscaping expert will work with you to create a project plan with indicative timeframes
  • Apply for building consent (if you’re working with Green Gables, we’ll be happy to handle this for you)
  • Pay your Green Gables deposit
  • Sit back and watch the Green Gables team swing into action!
01 Apr 2016

Landscaping is a wise investment!

Many people underestimate the power of landscaping and how much it affects their property's value. Anyone would agree that a home with great landscaping looks attractive and inviting, but not only does it add charm and curb appeal to your home, it actually increases your property's resale value. Whether or not you're planning to sell your home now, the money you invest in landscaping can deliver financial benefits.

Create an outdoor oasis!
You can extend your home's living space by creating a relaxing retreat in your backyard. When the weather is pleasant most people want to spend time outdoors, and what could be better than having a place to entertain or unwind at home? A little patio with a seating area is suitable for most budgets, and with the addition of a few plants and lights you've got yourself a delightful outdoor sitting space. Those of us that grill outside can set up a weather-resistant dining area under a shady tree for a lovely alfresco dining experience. When it comes to transforming your outdoor space, the possibilities are endless.

Sell your home for a premium price.
It's generally recommended that up to 10 percent of a property's value should be spent on landscaping. First impressions count, and if you want your home to sell for a premium price it has to attract potential buyers right from the curb. A professionally landscaped property gives the sense of value, which is why homes with a well-maintained landscape have a higher resale value and spend less time on the market. There are additional advantages to landscaping you may not have thought of, too. Trees provide shade in the summer and lower your air conditioning costs, and they act as a windbreak which reduces heating costs in the colder months. In addition, having nice walkway is practical and necessary, while lighting illuminates your property creating an ambiance and making it harder for intruders to target.

Get the best return on your rental property.
If you want your rental home to rent for a higher price, you need to invest in professional landscaping. Tenants will be more willing to pay a high price for your rental home if it's appealing from the outside. The issue with rental homes is that you need to ensure the landscaping looks great without being high maintenance. Keeping in mind that plants that require constant watering will cost your tenants, go for native plants that are suitable for your environment and require little upkeep. A manicured lawn with some perennials and trees is not too expensive but makes a world of difference as far as rental properties are concerned.

Landscaping can improve your property even with limited space or money.
Add a touch of color to wide expanses of grass with flowers and walking paths. Break up a useless slope by creating a terraced garden. Even homes in areas with extreme weather can benefit from landscaping. Rocks, stones, and gravel alone can make up the majority of your landscape such as those used in a Japanese-style zen garden, which adds a sophisticated touch to a property without needing water. Investing in good landscaping will return your investment on the seeds that you sow - literally!

Paving with edging

Send us your details and one of our landscaping experts will be in touch to arrange a no-obligation consultation.