Landscaping specialists in for the long haul BY RENÉE LANG | PHOTOGRAPHY VIRGINIA WOOLF
s the American novelist Myron S Kaufmann once said, “Watching something grow is good for morale. It helps us believe in life.” Nigel Monk does more than just watch things grow. When Nigel speaks about New Vision Landscapes (NVL), it’s clear he is as passionate now about landscaping as the day he started in the industry 25 years ago. West Coaster Nigel moved to the Nelson region as a teenager. “I was the class clown and the teachers were quick to put me on a trades training programme,” he laughs. That placement proved fortuitous as Nigel started
at Colonial Landscapes where he discovered his passion for landscaping. He worked there for several years with a stint in the middle working overseas. On his return to Nelson he was determined to start his own business. Nigel Monk Landscapes was born in 2003. Back then, the business was a much leaner operation with Nigel its only employee for the first year. At that time, he also met his future business – and life – partner Angela McGrath, who he’s quick to acknowledge for her key role in the growth of the business. “If it wasn’t for her,” he says, “I wouldn’t be where I am now.” The company rebranded to New Vision Landscapes six years ago. “It was clear that the business was growing quickly and becoming more about the entire team’s skills, not just mine,” explains Nigel. Fast forward to the present day and the couple have 30 permanent staff and
recently welcomed a third partner, NVL’s business manager Claire McNutt. “Securing Claire’s financial skills long-term is essential in managing our rapid growth,” Nigel adds. These days Nigel’s managing-director role sees him mostly in the office, drawing landscape plans and meeting clients. “Nigel is the visible face of New Vision Landscapes; engaging with clients is what he does best,” says Angela, who is responsible for human resources and brand management.
Working directly with clients means Nigel’s up with the latest trends, of which there are plenty. These include smaller section sizes and more inner-city living, with people treating their gardens as extended living spaces and wanting outdoor fires, decking and pools etc. “The local market is now investing in hard landscaping and they’re seeing the benefit of being able to use their outdoor space all year round in our excellent climate,” notes Nigel. “Property investors are also seeing the value hard landscaping can add to a home.” Another landscaping trend taking off is easily maintainable gardens. Nigel has seen artificial ‘turf’ enquiries increase dramatically during the last year, especially with improved turf quality and appearance.
“The local market is now prepared to invest in hard landscaping and they’re seeing the benefit of being able to use their outdoor space all year round in our excellent climate.” Nigel Monk
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