Nestled into the bowl of the Anne Street cul-de-sac, this 1012sqm terraced garden has uniquely mixed tropical/traditional plantings.
There are many rooms to discover and places to sit while enjoying abundant bird life in the Chinese Elm trees and mature palms. Decks, large pavers, rocks and feature pots have been used to highlight and navigate the sloping section and garden spaces that unfold from a central double koru lawn.
Q. How did you first get into gardening?
A. Both our parents that had colourful gardens and big family vege gardens. When we bought our first home in Eltham we started landscaping a large garden there and just continued with our completely different New Plymouth property.
Q. Where do you draw your inspiration from in creating your garden landscaping and planting?
A. Shane has worked in horticulture for the past 23 years since being in NP and has always loved the challenge of our slopes and levels. Together our tastes and needs have changed, initially catering for a young family and now the garden is more for us. Fashions and even the climate has changed a lot in this time too and our tastes have changed as well.
Q. What are some of the rules, or guidelines you follow as a gardener, and what guidelines would you offer novice gardeners developing their gardens.
A. I think we felt most comfortable when we stopped worrying about what sort of garden we were creating and just ran with what felt right for us and had fun with the plants. For gardeners just starting out we’d advise getting out to look at some gardens through the festival and taking photos of the things that they like, then thinking about any specific ‘needs’ in the garden and how much ‘time’ they have to actually spend in it. Talk to the gardeners too, we all love to share.
Q.What are the areas you love the most in your garden?
A. That depends on the mood and time of year, a cuppa in the Japanese garden or sitting up in the Gazebo under the Elms is a great spot for a restful cuppa. On the deck for brunch or out on the patio for a BBQ with friends and family and summer evenings by the outdoor fire are cool. Hands in the dirt is always great and how I suspect most of us enjoy our gardens!
Q. What do you think our festival audiences will enjoy the most about your garden?
A. Hopefully they will enjoy exploring the different areas and the way we have used them.
Q. How much time are your spending in your garden to get it prepared for Taranaki Garden Festival?
A. We both work full time so it’s just whatever time we can spare after work or weekends.
Q. Being your first year as a festival gardener, what are you looking forward to most when the festival kicks off this spring?
A. The point in time where we know we’ve done everything we can, pulled every weed we can find and are ready to say come and enjoy. We’ve always loved having a chat to the gardeners when we’ve visited gardens so I’m sure we will enjoy returning that hospitality. Hopefully, we will be enjoying sunshine too.
Q. Taranaki is becoming world-renowned for its glorious gardens, what do you think makes our region so special and draws to the success of the festival?
A. Taranaki is blessed with great soils, and a climate that can now grow just about anything which means our gardens are becoming more diverse. Taranaki folk are generally friendly and welcoming which makes people want to come back. With the mountain and coast right on our doorsteps there is always amazing scenery even just driving between the gardens and events. We have fantastic public parks and amazing cafes and restaurants for visitors to enjoy.
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