Testimonials

Hear what our clients have to say about their experience of working with us…especially the end result 🙂

"Carl came highly recommended as a practical and friendly landscape architect who could help transform our much-unloved garden. He has not disappointed! From the outset, Carl has carefully listened to our requirements and thoughtfully presented us with a plan that far exceeded our expectations of what was possible on our property. We found Carl to be highly professional, responsive and innovative, sympathetically matching his design ideas to the property as a whole and our needs as a family. We would recommend Carl without hesitation and look forward to enjoying our newly landscaped home for many years to come."
Gillian Morgan and Eugene Sparrow, Mt Eden, Auckland
"We live in the eastern Bay of Plenty and were in need of help with landscaping an area of land from steep farm area to garden. Our brief was to plant all in natives so looking up to the native forest in the distance it looked like an extension of the existing forest. Carl presented us with an extensive plan including plants, constructing timber walls, and paths to link the whole plan together. He sourced all the plants which was a huge plus. The area is now 6 years old and has grown to cover the steep slopes with amazing colour and is home to endless numbers of tuis, bellbirds, grey warbler, kereru, and shining cuckoo to name a few. Thank you Carl for guiding us on this journey your vision has created a garden that blends so well with the background and is a delight to work in and just enjoy."
Margaret & Michael Kirk, SH2, Whakatane
"We employed Carl Pickens as our landscape architect for our building project and we have been extremely happy with the work he has done for us. Our project had two aspects. It was a completely blank canvas on just over an acre of land and we were bound by the requirements of council who required a very detailed plan and report for resource consent. From the very early planning stages of the project, Carl was extremely helpful and provided us with detailed plans and plant information. In a combined effort we were able to finalise a hard landscaping plan and planting plan that suits the site perfectly. On-site visits we were able to take advantage of his expertise when we were finalising the orientation of the house and moving the large amounts of fill around the site in accordance with the landscaping plan. Carl is also very hands on. He arranged for the purchase of the plants for the first stage of planting and along with two others came and spent a week helping us plant. We were so grateful for this assistance. It certainly got the project underway and gave us the confidence to carry on! Carl has remained interested in our project and we are in contact as it progresses. Carl’s knowledge in all aspects of landscaping, plants, and gardening methods is vast and we could not have done this project without him. We would not hesitate to recommend him to other potential clients."
Richard and Jo Beddek, Paewhunua Island, Northland
"I have recently had my property completely re-landscaped. In order to get this done, I consulted Carl Pickens, Landscape Architect, to provide me with a plan. The result has been outstanding. It has amazed not only myself but all my friends and family. The property now utilises all areas to the utmost and is a joy to look at. I also found Carl very easy to deal with; amenable to my suggestions but able to lend his expertise and make the major changes required. I therefore, can recommend him for any further works without hesitation. I am also happy for an inspection of my property if that would be helpful."
John de Geus, M.D. Westbourne Road, Auckland
"Carl's gorgeous design for our community garden was inspiring, and just the ticket for securing the lease of the land from the city council. Carl himself was wonderful to work with, he listened to our wants and needs and suggested ways of achieving them, and because we were just getting up and going did the whole design for free! so amazing - we couldn't have wished for a better landscape designer to cross our path right when we needed one. So Carl, a HUGE thank you from our community Garden."
Nicola Bould, Port Chalmers Community Garden Coordinator
Carl was introduced to us as someone who has a unique combination of development experience and love of landscape, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture. Our projects needed all of that as well as a lot of patience with the stop-start timelines and budgets common for public/ community projects- plus Covid! Carl took time to listen and engage with our diverse client team, Council staff and stakeholders, responding with creativity combined with practical, long-term solutions. He was always prepared to get alongside people to seek to understand, including Iwi Kaitiaki. He has always been open to ideas, including participating in field trips and hui. He met deadlines, delivered within budget and produced high-quality work that is fit for purpose. Often that included going above and beyond to suggest better value approaches, or designs that would be better integrated with other elements onsite, such as buildings, native plant nursery or adjacent walkways. Throughout the years (and we have yet to complete some projects), Carl has respected all contributions while maintaining great communication and bringing expertise and experience to ensure the longevity of the finished product. Carl would add value to any project and project team.
Janet Cole, Kaipatiki Project Environment Centre Manager, Birkdale Auckland
"I am writing to strongly recommend and endorse the service provided by Carl Pickens. We were impressed by his winning design at Ellerslie Flower Show and contacted him to help us design a large pool-side pergola at our home in Oamaru. Carl provided exemplary service, listening attentively to our requirements and came up with helpful suggestions. He developed a scheme that was well thought out, practical, and provided for our needs. It is highly original and attractive. He contacted and negotiated with suppliers and managed the entire project in a faultless manner. I can personally recommend his design and management service."
Philip Hamilton, M.D. Waianakarua Rd, Kakanui Oamaru
"After trying and falling with a number of landscapers and designers we asked Carl to help us with our landscape design. The result is fantastic and has transformed a garden area that we couldn't use into a stunning outdoor area. I highly recommend him."
Michael Watson, Auckland
"I contracted Carl to offer organic gardening workshops for the University’s community garden. We needed someone with the theoretical knowledge of a range of organic gardening subjects and the ability to speak from experience of what works and what doesn’t while relating easily to a wide range of people in a friendly and respectful manner. Carl exceeded all of our expectations. Furthermore, Carl actually helped us grow our gardening group network because people attended workshops specifically to see what he had to say. When we did an in-depth analysis of our workshop series, Carl came up as one of our most popular presenters."
Matt Morris, Sustainability Practices Coordinator for the University of Canterbury
"Carl’s garden plan has clearly been driven by our brief and what we required. It shows how he listened intently to our wishes from the first meeting and reflected these in the plan. This has resulted in a unique layout for a small site that is practical and has the structural requirements for a productive garden. Carl worked sympathetically with the house design, and the garden incorporates both formal and informal areas in a precise layout, with a soft planting scheme. His design creates space for relaxation (especially in the entertaining area), and he managed to retain the view which was essential. The outside areas flow and blend with uncomplicated and sympathetic structures and finishes."
Nicola Johns, Auckland
"Carl worked with us to landscape and create our garden from a bare paddock. Taking the coastal elements and the prevailing winds into consideration we have developed a beautiful native garden that is now regularly visited by native birds. The staged approach to the plan saw shelter planting form the frame for our now flourishing little oasis."
Andy Scotland, Tuparekura Road Kaipara
"Take Five, by Carl Pickens, was a stunning combination of sustainability and beauty. He had vertical plant walls (edible and not), slimline rainwater tanks, compost and worm farms, boardwalks made of vitex from Greenpeace’s Solomon Islands plantation, permeable pathways so all water returned to aquifers, and tiled roof gardens roofing his shade structures. All this, and he managed beauty as well."
Avenues Magazine by Laura Keddell (in reference to ‘Take Five’, Carls Gold medal winning garden at the Ellerslie International Flower Show)
"We approached Carl to provide a vision for our 10-acre lifestyle block that would incorporate Permaculture principles whilst having an architectural backbone. To our amazement and excitement, he far surpassed our expectations with his vision. He totally nailed the concept and managed to develop a plan that both was genuine to Eco and Permaculture principals and had a strong architectural visual base. We come from a design background and so had very high standards and expectations on Carl. To his credit, he well surpassed these in a very short time. We found Carl related to us extremely well. Providing vision when needed and always listening to our wants and desires. Nothing was ever a problem and the communication was always clear and professional. The whole process was seamless and effortless. Carl always listened and was able to at times do what would seem impossible. From general concept to detailed drawings and specifications he was totally professional and inspirational. He has earned our complete trust and respect through the whole process. I have no hesitation in recommending him in the knowledge he will greatly enhance the end result. Richard Evans, Director, Benchmark Homes."
Richard Evans, Director: Benchmark Homes, Bell Road, Canterbury
"From a blank canvass Carl helped us visualise and create our dream outdoor spaces; we started off with two key challenges being clay soil and a high wind zone, at times, being a trade off against a hill side property with expansive views. Carl worked with our ideas and added his mastery around spatial positioning, knowledge of trees, vegetables and building materials to deliver a stunning integrated garden and orchard over 2 levels. In the orchard he built and planted a vibrant wind shelter made up of Pittosporum, Karo and native flaxes which attract flocks of Tuis and Fantails to an area that was previously bereft of birdlife that provides protection to a thriving orchid. Carl designed our garden area to accommodate a series of raised gardens, composting system and wind tunnel with an eye to structure, earth works, retaining and steps in a way that fits in beautifully with the contours of the land and is an absolute pleasure to work in. Around other parts of the property Carl applied his seemingly endless knowledge to help us choose shrubs, trees, ground cover flaxes, fruit trees, hedges and grasses to createwonderful spaces that are pleasing to the eye and bring a smile to our faces. We recommend Carl because he is brilliant, he knows his trade, he has strong ideas, endless knowledge and will work with you at whatever level you need, where we had firm ideas he would work with them adding his thinking where we had gaps he would plug them, he will do as little or as much as you need, he will do all the physical the work for you (with his team), let you do it or work with you together (we’ve done all three with Carl) and no job is too big or too small, from a small entrance project to a large complex engineering feat Carl is awesome to work with – the other thing that impressed us about Carl is his genuine interest in the future of his work, years after he worked with us on and completed our first project he would periodically ring and ask to pop back and see how his work was progressing, we would reminisce and discuss how ideas “back then” are literally growing, now, I think that better than anything illustrates how invested Carl gets in his work, he starts his jobs with an eye on the future knowing he will be back at some stage to be judged, which is gold."
The Lindsays, Takatu Road Matakana