When Ollie Newman took a part time job working for a landscaping company during university holidays he discovered a passion for the work, so ending his university studies.
Travelling to the United Kingdom, Ollie’s passion for landscaping was further honed working on some incredible projects in London, rapidly progressing from landscaper to foreman to project manager.
“Returning to Christchurch I knew landscaping was something I definitely wanted a career in,” says Ollie. “Landscaping just worked for me. I understood it. I enjoyed the physical side of it as well as the mental side of working out what materials were required.”
After working for a landscaper in Christchurch, Ollie and his wife Juliet decided to establish their own business on Ollie’s 31st birthday and Onlandscapes was born.
That was ten years ago and the business has steadily progressed to the team of sixteen that it is today.Based in Christchurch, Onlandscapes has established a respected reputation for craftsmanship and much of its business comes from word of mouth referrals and repeat business from clients and landscape architects alike.
“I’m a big people person and really enjoy making people happy. With landscaping you can just tick all the boxes with that. “I get really excited about any project we do because I realise it’s a significant financial commitment for the client, they have a vision and trust me to bring it to life.”
Undertaking a diverse range of projects from $300 right through to substantial works in excess of half a million dollars, while the majority of Onlandscapes’ projects are in the Christchurch area, its wings have spread further afield in the South Island.
Ollie has no doubt that his team and the team culture is at the heart of Onlandscapes’ success.“You want to create a working environment where people want to come to work and enjoy the challenges of the project.
“It’s also about giving them the confidence that they have the skills and ability to do the work and trusting them to do it. “The team put in a good hard days work and I’m always trying to reward them.”
With the diversity of projects undertaken by Onlandscapes, trade qualifications are a key requirement and Ollie ensures all his team are put through an apprenticeship programme to become qualified with an Advanced National Certificate in Landscape Construction and Horticulture.
As well as soft landscaping like lawn, irrigation and planting, hard landscaping skills have become increasingly integral to what Onlandscapes does.
“With the construction side of landscaping there’s a lot you have to learn and know. “We can be doing anything from specialised Passion for landscaping shines through foundations, block and retaining walls, paving and fencing.
“There are resource consents that are required on a lot of things—timber decks for example.”Stressing the importance of a good landscape design, Ollie says the garden area has become an extension of the house with outdoor kitchens and living spaces.
“That first design stage is quite important so that every one is on the same page with the design. “It needs to be a well thought out plan and we like to make sure that is all sorted before we start construction.”
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