Gardens are my happy place, just as the water is. So the Nelson | Tasman area is a great place for me to have a foot in each, one on the land and one in the ocean, rivers, ponds or pools (with eternity edges of course!)
Originally from Wellington, growing up I saw my Mum spend endless weekends in our massive garden, while I happily bounced on the trampoline. Now weeding has become somewhat of a religion for me, I find the garden a sanctuary or perhaps a kind of meditation, I get a sense of enormous reward seeing it’s flowering beauty, plentiful harvest, or just the pleasure of seeing weed free beds and hedges in straight lines. Of course a clients smiling face from the kitchen window, or a surprise message of thanks at the end of a long day has it perks too! I love to suit each garden to the client, get to know their personality and quirks so as I can tailor each garden for them, keep it as contemporary as the house design, or perhaps find plants from where they originally hail from, call me nostalgic, but I think that’s what a garden is supposed to be, familiar, peaceful, sensual, yet unexpected, a beautiful adventure in your own backyard.
Whilst making may way around the globe as an adventure guide I ended up gardening in England, where I happily ripped out stuff that we would normally class as weeds in NZ, and quickly became a concrete mix master. Back in Auckland I studied for a Diploma in Landscape Design at Unitec and worked for an amazing Planting Designer Barbara Garrett for 4 years. Alas the call of the sea took me sailing around for another 4 years until I landed with my feet firmly planted here in Ruby Bay and Can You Dig It was now a South Island venture.
I draw up garden planting plans with inky pens on my old wobbly drawing board, have a team of great gardeners on board to tackle the biggest weeds and move mountains of the stinkiest compost and a small dog to dig holes and run away from neighboring cats.
If you are ready for a new garden, or a revamp of the ole backyard, a weed and mulch session or rose bush that’s in dire need of a chainsaw, Claire & the team at Can You Dig It can help.
GET IN TOUCH
Claire Romanos - Planting Designer