I’m Nigel Cowburn, Landscape Architect and Director of Growplan. I live in Dunedin, Otago (South Island, New Zealand).

In this photo I’m looking at the native flax or harakeke collection at Orokonui Ecosanctuary. This catalogued planting contains over 100 flax varieties, including many prized cultivars that have been handed down through generations of Maori weavers.

My work takes me all over Otago and Southland and I’ve previously lived and worked in Queenstown, Invercargill and The Catlins (Papatowai). My practice is increasingly focused on agricultural issues, working with other agricultural consultants to help farmers balance farming activities with looking after the environment. My research and work includes identifying pollutant sources and designing specific plant mixes to keep pollutants out of streams and drains, and designing optimal riparian planting schemes.

I’m much more rural focused than many LA’s and my work can include farm homestead gardens and orchards, hedges and shelterbelts, road frontages and driveways, screening of farm buildings, and on-farm tourist accommodation and/or retail areas. Some lifestyle block owners have similar requirements. I’ve also been privileged to be involved with landscape design for a marae re-build and with activity parks and public spaces in rural communities.

From time to time I also become involved with large industrial site design and with large-scale subdivisions. I have a particular interest in sustainable, long-term stormwater solutions – SUDs in preference to the conventional and costly engineered approach.

Ecological, whole-systems, holistic approach. If you want to save money, have a beautiful working environment and genuinely protect nature – call me.

Occasionally I work further afield so don’t hesitate to contact me if you’re outside of Otago. I’ve worked with clients in Karamea and Marlborough, and as far away as Auckland!

Nigel Cowburn
Ph:  027 214 7791


2 thoughts on “About

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  1. Hi Nigel, thanks for the follow! It took a minute or two to work out who you are. I’ll look forward to following your trips around the SI. Jane

    1. Hi Jane, Yes Liz said I must look at your post on the Aridlands garden (Am very interested in dry ecologies as I do some design/consult in some dry areas here – we have several areas with circa 300mm rain a year)

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