Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust


Second Nature was established in Auckland by Chris Ballantyne in 1996. In 2004 Janet Clarke became joint owner, adding her business acumen to Chris’ passion for creating beautiful gardens. Today they employ many staff, including creative designers, qualified landscape architects and an experienced team of craftsmen and horticulturists. They work hard to translate inspired design ideas into unique built landscapes or to upgrade existing gardens. Ongoing garden care can be provided to maintain your garden’s beauty and integrity.

We specialise in designing and building bespoke gardens, both small and large. No two gardening or landscaping projects are ever the same, which is why Second Nature is structured to accommodate any given scenario of scale, style or expertise. Our core DESIGN, BUILD and GROW teams can be utilised individually for their specific expertise or in synergy for a seamless service.

We are Auckland based and work outside of Auckland by arrangement. We work with home owners, architects, facility managers and businesses.


To create beautiful outdoor environments.

  • To set and maintain standards of quality, professionalism and integrity at every level of our operation.
  • To build a culture that empowers our people and fosters a joy of work.
  • To deliver social, economic and environmentally sustainable outcomes.

Second Nature is recognised by the New Zealand landscape design industry as having the skills, knowledge and capability to build the most complex and innovative landscape designs to the highest standard.

We have won numerous industry and Ellerslie Flower Show Awards. Including two recent Landscapes of Distinction Awards, which recognise outstanding performance in landscaping practice and are the highest accolade of professional recognition in the industry.

Many of our gardens have featured in garden design books, magazines and trade journals and garden tours such as the Auckland Garden Design Fest.

Registered Master Landscapers  (previously called Landscaping New Zealand or LNZ) is the national organisation for landscaping professionals who are serious about quality trade practice. We have been a committed accredited member for over 25 years. Chris Ballantyne has received a Distinguished Service Award from the organisation. Accreditation provides assurance that our work and business practices have consistently achieved the required best practice and have adhered to the RMLNZ code of conduct.

Second Nature Master Landscaper Certification 2020-2021

Second Nature is recognised by the New Zealand landscape design industry as having the skills, knowledge and capability to build the most complex and innovative landscape designs to the highest standard. Our commitment to achieving enduring quality outcomes is vital to our business practice and reputation. Guarantees and warranties are established for each project.

Second Nature holds comprehensive insurance cover.

We partner with Hazardco to ensure that our work practices provide a safe and healthy environment for our workers and clients alike.

hazardco logo

Second Nature is collectively passionate about the environment. We are actively working towards environmental sustainability, including; minimising the use of harmful chemicals, recycling and electrification of our fleet.

We sponsor several charities including:



Second Nature’s owners are passionate about designing, building and growing gardens. They manage the company and the DESIGN, BUILD and GROW teams, ensuring all work meets the company’s high standards, values and clients expectations.


Chris Ballantyne

Chris is skilled and knowledgeable in construction design and ecology planting for large sites, in particular coastal and lifestyle gardens. He is recognised by his team, peers and clients as a landscape industry expert, with an undeniable passion for his craft and the environment. His talent for creating meaningful landscapes and expansive, naturalised, plant-scapes often sees him hands on in picturesque locations such as Great Barrier Island and Tutukaka. Although he is equally content in his own bio-diverse garden.


Janet Clarke

Janet has been involved with construction project management all her working life in both the UK and New Zealand. Her BA Hons degree from Nottingham University, UK, was complemented by a post-graduate Business Diploma and Strategic Planning studies at the University of Auckland. Janet has brought an increased professionalism to Second Nature, introducing best-practice systems to financial and project management. She has also developed the strategic vision and stimulated growth of the business.


‘I have used Second Nature on both my beach house at Castle Rock, Whangarei Heads and also my Auckland home garden. They have completed work for us at various times over a period of six to seven years. Chris understands very well what I like and he’s very good at coming up with suggestions and interpreting the direction we want to pursue. He’s extremely easy to deal with. He’s very practical, not afraid to express a contrary opinion but also willing to listen and be flexible… more >

Alastair McClymont

‘I like working with Second Nature because of their general professionalism and excellent project management. No detail is left unattended, from the nitty gritty details to the big picture. Second Nature has very good team leaders. They’re all reliable and knowledgeable. They’re very familiar with our procedures, so we don’t get false alarms, nor are there any surprises. They know exactly how long each stage of a pool installation takes and what will be required… more >

Neil Runciman, Managing Director, Frontier Pools

‘Second Nature operates at the quality end of the market for discerning home owners who want a bespoke and cohesive landscaped section and garden. They deliver in every respect, providing a friendly and expert service. For us, the added benefit was being able to tap into their landscaping partners. These included designers, lighting specialists, pool contractors and even a sculptor… more >

Andy Evans

‘Our relationship with Second Nature began when a mutual client for whom we’d designed a beach house wanted to use Chris Ballantyne on the project. He immediately showed an appreciation for the fact that his design needed to be sensitive to our architectural expression. This led to a smooth overlap between our separate skills. Chris’ contribution to the project was very successful… more >

Nicola Herbst, Herbst Architects

‘I’m a keen gardener, but because we’re flat out with a young family, the garden had got away on us. It needed a professional tidy-up. So in 2016 we turned to Second Nature, who had provided the original landscaping for our property in 2010. This had involved digging up the entire section, bringing in new soil and contouring the landscape ready for us to plant… more >

Larissa Richwhite

‘Second Nature came with glowing recommendations from people I trust. We were embarking on a huge job: rebuilding 100-year-old verandas, construction of ornate concrete columns and walls, stone decking, decorative pathways and the rest. Total re-landscaping, including some rather unusual, creative visions that were yet to be fully resolved. In the planning period my trust in Chris and his team developed… more >

Sara Noble

‘Second Nature was commissioned to design, build and project-manage our backyard in Stonefields, Auckland in September 2013. The brief was to create a backyard which was beautiful, unexpected, required little maintenance and included the use of natural materials (timber, grass and stone). The garden needed to be sufficiently robust to accommodate the presence of two high-energy dogs, and all planting decisions had to be made with this in mind… more >

Belinda Dick