AUGUST 2015 Tradie of the Month
Our August Tradie of the Month is Chris Ballantyne from Second Nature.
Chatting with Chris
How long have you been in this industry?
I have worked in the landscape industry for 35 years. Building gardens is both my life-long career and passion.
What got you into this industry?
I come from a construction and farming background and I have a love of the natural landscape. I enjoy working with plants and creative problem solving. Building gardens was the perfect solution.
What is the most satisfying part you find in the whole process?
The creative process. All the elements of building gardens and developing a landscaping business require creativity. Whether it is building a successful team or solving a unique technical problem, every day in this industry brings new challenges.
How do you start the process/concept and planning with your customer?
We meet with the client to understand their requirements and then recommend the best strategy for developing their garden. When a garden design is required, we recommend a designer that we think best suits the client’s style, budget and temperament. We work closely with a number of very talented architects and garden designers. Second Nature also offer an in-house design service.
How does the on-going process work?
Once the design is complete, Second Nature will prepare an estimate of costs. If the client is comfortable with the budget, then final design details and specifications are agreed and costs confirmed. One of our Team Leaders is dedicated to the project, building the garden and liaising closely with the client throughout the process. We also offer a comprehensive garden care service and look after many of the gardens we have built.
Are you able to do smaller jobs as well as bigger jobs?
We have four construction teams and three garden care teams. We undertake work from garden make-overs and regular garden care through to large-scale complex garden builds.
For younger people who want to get into this industry, what would your advice be?
The landscape industry continues to grow and diversify. The work is rewarding and varied, offering huge opportunities. To those thinking of entering the industry, I’d recommend finding work with a reputable landscape company and take time to consider which area of the industry in which you would like to specialise. Opportunities exist in landscape construction (stonemasonry, landscape carpentry, tiling, etc), amenity horticulture and contract management.
So, in a few words, can you sum up what your business can offer customers?
Experience, expertise and professionalism. Our team consists of experienced and qualified designers, landscape builders, masons, horticulturalists and managers. Collectively, we bring decades of experience and a passion to our projects.
Why do you buy your products from NZLS?
NZLS offer convenient locations and a wide range of quality products. NZLS contribute to promoting professionalism in our industry and are long-term supporters of Landscaping NZ.