There is some formality in the clipped specimens, plant shapes and textures. The repetition of the plantings throughout is effective, providing continuity which does not compete with the natural surrounding bush. The canopy of established native trees provides protective shade where clivia, hydrangeas, arthropodium, bergenia, ligularia, hostas and ferns flourish. “Omaio” was planted to create calm – the colour palette is soft, tones of green dominate, it is relaxed and easy on the eye. A far cry from previous rose and perennial filled gardens I had created!
The crushed shell path “Jane’s Lane”, takes you to the raised koru shaped vegetable garden and small orchard which is situated in a sheltered bush clearing. The koro garden, although small, provides an ample supply of vegetables throughout the year. The path from this area, lined with arthropodium, cream clivias and hostas, leads through bush and a mature stand of Kauri, Rimu, Totara, and Pohutakawa, to “Johny’s Deck” a viewing platform on the water’s edge.
Paths lead from the main garden to “Kowhai Coast”, “Totara Trail” and “Olioli Way” – easy walking tracks through established and naturally regenerating bush. The trails provide a restful contrast to the highly maintained garden areas.
The cabin was built in 1980 as a holiday retreat and I, with help from son John, started development of the garden from scratch in June 2006 after we moved to settle permanently in December 2005.