Southern Woods Projects Portfolio

We are lucky enough at Southern Woods to have the space, the man power and the knowledge to be able to cope with all scales of design and planting – from residential right through to huge revegetation and commercial projects.

We can (and do!) contract-grow extremely large quantities of plants for those of you winning tenders and contracts. We’re happy to quote a year ahead and grow to your specifications. As a large contractor/developer looking for reliable stock, it’s often far easier to source all required stock from one supplier to ensure consistent quality and size.

This page includes some past, present and on-going projects we have proudly supplied plants for…



Southern Woods Plant Nursery were the plant/tree supplier for the Margaret Mahy Family Playground. Nalin and his team delivered outstanding service and quality of product throughout the entire project. With a critical deadline to achieve there was always a push at the end to get the final landscaping elements completed but Southern Woods excellent quality of trees made this a hassle free process as putting these plants/trees in made everything around it come to life. Their knowledge and expertise was also a big help in achieving milestones as can be seen by the final outcome for everyone to enjoy.

Brent Cations -  Project Manager, CityCare/JFC joint venture
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We're proud to be involved with the creation of central Christchurch's Margaret Mahy Playground - one of the most spectacular projects of the rebuild to date. Working with the CityCare/JFC Joint Venture to a tight deadline, we were able to grow, source & supply thousands of plants to accompany the spectacular hard landscaping on display.

If you're lucky enough to visit, you'll find a myriad of unique play activities and sculptures, inspired by the works of legendary NZ author Margaret Mahy.




"There wasn't a moments doubt when (he) asked who he should go to. You have, in my view, always provided excellent material backed by good technical support. I am glad he listened. He will not be the last person I refer to Southern Woods."

Mark Pizey - National General Manager, Environmental Division, Solid Energy
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Supplying many of the plants for the rehabilitation of Stockton Coal Mine, north of Westport, has been a major undertaking for Southern Woods since 1998.

Environmental planting and management is fully integrated with coal mining at Stockton and the mine has an annual rehabilitation target. Each year more than 30 hectares of rehabilitation are completed. This is a complex operation, part of which includes the planting of several hundred thousand native plants annually. Naturally occurring plants are the most tolerant of Stockton’s low soil fertility, high rainfall and cold sub-alpine situation.

Seed and cuttings are therefore collected from the Stockton ecological area, are propagated and grown-on at Southern Woods. They are then shipped back Stockton, to coincide with the best planting windows of spring and autumn.


Southern Motorway

"GSL have worked with Southern Woods for many years on various projects, from medium to large scale landscaping including Christchurch Southern Motorway.  We have found them to be extremely reliable and approachable, with great quality stock provided on time and to spec.  We wouldn't hesitate to recommend them for any job or contract, no matter what size."

Des Cameron, General Manager, GSL
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The Christchurch Southern Motorway (CSM Stage 1) has incorporated extensive native planting eco-sourced and grown by Southern Woods, planted by Grounds and Services Limited (GSL).

The brief to provide a diversity of colour, form and texture with ecological value and a sense of history through repeating past planting patterns was met head-on, and the planting is looking fantastic.

This is an example of mass planting on a large scale, where the quality of both the stock and the way it is planted is imperative to its’ survival. Large areas of multi-layered native plantings for screening, amenity and ecology are interweaved with naturalised streams and drainage channels, providing great softening of the 4-lane motorway.

Tai Tapu Bush


Tai Tapu Bush is a native restoration initiative installed into the grounds of Rhodes Park in 2012.  The planting of the 5,500 seedlings was achieved through organising a progression of planting events that involved hundreds of volunteers from within the local community and from wider Canterbury.

The late Murray Mannall (owner and Managing Director of Southern Woods) was instrumental in fostering the idea of developing the bare Tai Tapu site into a native forest.  The site had similar characteristics to that which contains one of the Canterbury Plain's most significant native forest remnants - Riccarton Bush.  He collected seed from this remnant and others in the area and produced the seedlings for the project.

Stephen Brailsford carried out the planning and management roles in the restoration project.  He was also involved in the laying out of the planting positions and the management of the volunteer planters.  Stephen now uses the emerging forest to provide environmental education to the Tai Tapu school students and others.

The high survival rate and good performance of the seedlings in the face of some extreme climatic events is testament to the efforts, skill, knowledge and dedication of Murray Mannall and Stephen Brailsford.  This project provides a lasting legacy and is a very good demonstration of how to achieve environmental restoration at a community level. (Photos taken by Stephen Brailsford).