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landscape design, outdoor living, award-winning landscaper, Goom Landscapes, unique

Chris Goom


After 30 years in the industry, Chris Goom has a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading landscape designers in New Zealand. He is highly regarded, both as a landscape practitioner and mentor.

Chris started out with horticultural studies at Lincoln College (now Lincoln University), followed by a year working at Gardenway Nurseries. Shortly after marrying Jill, he became self-employed as a landscape contractor.

In the mid 1970s, Chris joined forces with Grant Chirnside to form Canterbury Landscapes, followed by Canterbury Nursery and later, Riccarton Nursery. Chris and Grant employed up to 30 staff and enjoyed considerable business success.

After twelve years in partnership, Chris sold his share in Canterbury Landscapes to Grant and ran the nurseries, with wife Jill and their children often helping out. During this time, Chris didn’t undertake any landscape design or construction, and it wasn’t until Grant put Canterbury Landscapes into liquidation that Chris sold his nurseries to staff and created Chris Goom Landscape Architects with one architect and a couple of the former Canterbury Landscape staff.

Chris Goom Landscape Architects grew in size and stature. Meanwhile, Chris also started up the Little Big Tree Company from his home - a business which has also grown considerably, expanding from 3 to 10 acres of trees and shrubs, and from one part-timer to four full time staff and four part-time.

A decade ago, Chris set up his contracting staff in business on their own, to allow him to focus solely on design work. However, when Chris’ son Tim returned from his OE, they once again put together a small contracting team using many of the original staff. Today, the contracting arm of Goom Landscapes plays a vital role in achieving the exacting standards required by the company’s innovative design projects.

Over the years, Chris’ passion, vision, lateral thinking and no-nonsense approach have resulted in a stunning body of work and many very satisfied clients. His passion for landscaping is reflected in the enthusiasm and skill of his team, which flourishes under his inspirational guidance and relentless expectation for excellence.

Having recently sold the company, Chris is now free of the responsibilities of the day-to-day running of the business and able to concentrate on key Goom Landscape projects, as design director and mentor/consultant.

With a bit more time on his hands, Chris is also revelling in the opportunity to indulge in his other passions – fishing, duck shooting and hunting. He also continues to devote a lot of his time to his role as a regional councillor for Fish & Game New Zealand.

Meanwhile, his very patient wife Jill (who Chris readily credits with his business success) is waiting to retire!

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