O2 Landscapes Ltd. is a landscape design firm (based in Auckland, New Zealand) with a research-driven approach, and a particular focus on the context of the environments in which our projects are situated.

Our work encompasses a broad array of scales, from the wide lens of restoration and land management of large sites within rural & re-wilded landscapes to urban public spaces, apartment buildings, commercial offices and private residences.

Conservation, of both our native flora and cultural traditions, plays an important role in our design philosophy. We firmly believe that tradition and progress are not mutually exclusive. This is reflected in our planting ethos, and in our approach to the design of our projects’ built structure.

In line with this, we are heavily influenced by vernacular landscape within New Zealand – the everyday features that make up the greater fabric of our built environments.

One of our primary interests is the integration of exotic flowering species into a framework based on native ecology. We believe that this approach can provide a future for New Zealand gardens and public plantings in which a greater range of native species are appreciated, and in which the seasonal change and colour provided by flowers are not lost.

Our studio is made up of owner Philip Smith, Logan Drummond, Mathilde Doesburg, Laszlo Reynolds & Grace Pursley. More information on our respective backgrounds and interests is provided in the individual profiles below.

Our people

Philip Smith


Philip Smith is the proprietor of O2 Landscapes, and lead designer (in tandem with Logan Drummond). One of his chief interests is in integrating natives with flowering perennials, to produce a different kind of ‘native’ garden; one in which the effect of native plants is amplified by association with selected exotic species which bring a greater range of flower colour, form and scent to the garden.

He has a special interest in the extended use of a greater range of native plants, particularly threatened plants. He is also especially interested in the preservation of the widest possible range of gardenworthy perennials for use in gardens (they are disappearing from gardens due to fashion), with a particular focus on trialling suitable perennials for Auckland’s difficult, warm northern climate.

Philip studied horticulture and landscape design at Massey University, Palmerston North, between 1995 and 1998. He worked in the landscape industry in Auckland following graduation, and in 2001 travelled to Europe. In Europe, Philip spent six months in Germany, where he worked for three months at Europe’s largest export plant nursery, Bruns, in Bad Zwischenahn (a small town in the northwest of Germany). From this base, it was possible to view the work of several twentieth-century German and Dutch garden designers, whose work focused on more naturalistic styles of planting (notably, the integration of grasses and perennials to create gardens with considerable seasonal distinction). This included visiting the gardens of the Dutch designers Mien Ruys and Piet Oudolf, and the garden of the great German plantsman, Karl Foerster (all of whom are strong influences).

Following working in Germany, he spent three months in the Spanish city of Granada, where it was possible to study the remarkable Moorish gardens of the Alhambra palace complex at length. Upon returning in February 2002, Philip established O2 Landscapes, working in a style based on plantsmanship and locally-inspired design.

After working on the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show project, Philip travelled to Italy, to spend a week studying the work of the Venetian architect/architectural professor, Carlo Scarpa. Scarpa is an important influence upon the design ethos of O2 Landscapes, as he believed in combining modernism and forward thinking with tradition. More information and photos on Scarpa can be found within the ‘Essays’ section of the website.

In addition to the design and installation of gardens and public plantings, Philip has written a wide range of articles for a number of publications; including ‘The Garden’ (the journal of the Royal Horticultural Society), Urbis Landscapes and Landscape Architecture NZ magazine – for whom Philip was the regular contributor of the planting guide for 8 years, up to 2015 (including a series of regional planting guides for New Zealand over the last three years of that time). In 2015, Potton & Burton Publishing released ‘Vernacular’; a book that Philip collaborated on with David Straight to bring more attention to New Zealand’s everyday landscape culture. Since 2010, Philip has lectured in planting design as part of Victoria University’s Landscape Architecture programme.

Logan Drummond

Design Director

Since he started working with O2 Landscapes in 2018, Logan has taken on an increasingly significant role in both the development of our wider design programme (and processes) and the execution of designs. In his capacity as Design Director, Logan takes a leading role within the design direction of projects from the outset.

In both practice and during his design education (having gained a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Victoria University), Logan has developed a substantial knowledge base of the vast diversity of plant communities and species that populate our landscapes (including their association with geology). This aligns well with one of the major strands of O2 Landscapes’ design work – regarding the roles of botany and ecology in the development of innovative modes of practice.

An important part of our research involves the direct experience of wild places; an activity that Logan frequently undertakes in both a professional and personal capacity. This helps to inform how spatial qualities exhibited within differing landscape types (woodland, treeland, shrubland, grassland etc.) contribute to our work – an approach that serves to broaden the ways in which people and animals relate to designed landscapes.

This provides a strong grounding for Logan to lead design processes together with Philip. O2 Landscapes’ design research is not confined to NZ’s shores and (in common with Philip) Logan has a considerable interest in natural and cultural landscapes in other parts of the world – especially those that are analogous to our own context.

Mathilde Doesburg

Project Lead

Mathilde came to work with O2 Landscapes at the beginning of 2022 after her completion of a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture with Honours at Unitec in Auckland. Aside from taking a leading role within design and delivery of projects, Mathilde co-ordinates the research programme of O2 Landscapes.

An introduction to plant and animal behaviours through NCEA biology piqued her curiosity of the natural world, but the thought to pursue this particular career came only after studying nursing while living in Berlin, Germany for a year in 2016. The mixture of scientific application and design process within Landscape Architecture was attractive.

Mathilde’s honours project, which asked the question “how can post-agricultural landscapes productively elucidate national issues of conservation and sustainable management?”, was developed as an idea from studies about New Zealand’s land management policies. Geographic Information System mapping was Mathilde’s main research tool, and this was used as a strategic approach towards understanding and documenting land and water processes.

Along with her interest in agricultural landscapes and fondness for the ancient remnant bush landscapes of New Zealand, Mathilde is fascinated by the highly engineered landscapes of the Netherlands – a place with which she has blood ties.

Laszlo Reynolds


Laszlo started working with O2 Landscapes in early 2020, having worked for several years building valuable experience within gardening. Aside from his interest in plants and landscapes, music is a major strand of Laszlo’s life, with years spent performing and recording within Auckland.

Laszlo’s connection with native plants and whenua has undoubtedly been deepened through a longstanding family association with a patch of Auckland’s West Coast, near Anawhata.

With a strong grounding in horticulture and a developed interest in digital modes of representation, Laszlo is involved with both site-based and studio work.