Born and bred in Hokitika (West Coast, South Island) , my partner and I moved to Christchurch in 1994, when our daughter was 3. I missed the Coast greatly - especially (you guessed it) the huge downpours of rain on the tin roof. I had always enjoyed gardening and designing areas in our small cottage in Hokitika we had purchased when we were just 17, constantly collecting rocks, driftwood, shells and things to put into our yard. Consequently, our daughter had one of the flashest sandpits in Hokitika...
When that daughter turned 5, I began studying to become a landscape architect at Lincoln University full-time as an adult student. I graduated four years later with a BLA Honours (Bachelor of Landscape Architecture) in 2000 - one of the best things I've ever done. I've been happily designing ever since, taking the important step of starting my own design business in 2008 while also carrying out the Marketing Managerial role at one of the largest tree nurseries in Canterbury, Southern Woods Tree Nursery.
I tend to specialise in residential and lifestyle blocks, enjoying the challenges and opportunities each different job brings... That's not to say I don't dabble in commercial design. Living in the Selwyn area, a lot of my clients are out this way, but I have been known to travel back to the Coast to design, to North Canterbury, and even as far as The Chathams, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I believe it is my West Coast heritage which makes me extremely approachable and transparent to deal with. I like to spend plenty of time with my clients during the design stage so that I'm sure their needs and wants in the garden are completely taken on board to be fully catered for in the final design. I'm honest and full of enthusiasm for what I do, and I love to push the boundaries.
I have been involved with several magazines, and was delighted to have an input into 'Native by Design' - an inspirational book focussed on using New Zealand natives in landscape design by Michelle Frey and Dr Ian Spellerberg. Incidentally, this book was the catalyst which ironically lead me back to the Coast to be involved in what has ended up being one of my all-time favourite designs in Lake Brunner, still in progress.
I am now not only a doting mother of one (now all grown up at 30), but also a very proud Nana of three, adding another whole new dimension to my life. I love nothing more than to take the family on road trips back to the Coast to stroll on the beach and in the bush, eat whitebait and watch the sunsets.
When I'm not on the Coast, I am based in Christchurch, where I also run The Retreat - a cute boutique holiday cottage at the back of my property. I have two generous ferneries on my property and an outdoor bath to remind me of home...
These days, I combine my full-time role on the Retail Team at Southern Woods with designing mainly new-builds, two roles that compliment each other very nicely indeed, and make for one very busy (but very happy!) landscape architect...
" Robyne is my first choice and recommendation when it comes to designing a beautiful garden that works. Her landscape plans are superbly drawn and easy to interpret. I have used Robyne twice to design my gardens. Her personable approach is invaluable as she works alongside you to incorporate your own ideas into a realistic plan that transforms into a beautiful garden. I am a very grateful gardener." (Barbara Kelly, Rangiora)