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92 High Street, Blenheim
0800 627 527
This half-day tour, taking in a broad cross-section of the region to the north and west of Blenheim, has something for everyone: three very different gardens in diverse locations. Their contrasting garden styles demonstrate a variety of responses to their unique challenges of climate, topography and soil type.
With its Omaka River backdrop, Richmond mountains panorama and surrounding vineyards, together with the need to battle fierce westerly gales and dry clay soils, the Watershed garden has evolved in its unique environment since 1999. Its formal and informal hedges shelter and define a number of linked garden areas encircling the house. With climbing plants, herbaceous borders and semi-woodlands of exotics and natives, the Watershed is a country family garden created mostly on a shoestring, with many seedling-grown and self-propagating species providing year-round interest. Whether your interest is in a garden for entertaining, playing games, for growing produce, exploring, or just quietly contemplating, the Watershed garden has something for everyone.
This garden was designed to be an oasis in the midst of the vineyards. Developed from a bare paddock nine years ago, native bush surrounds an exuberance of tall hardy perennials that flower all summer. Winding paths create changing vistas as you wander from fruit trees under whispering poplars, past the vegetable garden and down to Spring Creek. Lush grasses, tall flax and flowering cabbage trees provide food for tūī and pīwakawaka.
The garden at Longfield has grown considerably over the past few years and now covers an area of 1.5 acres. A trip to Italy was the inspiration behind the very formal garden, with its statues, fountains and formal hedging. Brick walls and hornbeam hedges have created many rooms within the garden, and old fashioned roses, citrus, lavender and olives all feature in different areas. The Corinthian columns within a circular hedge were inspired by Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, and the recent addition of an English orangery, opening out into a bricked courtyard, has created the perfect place to enjoy a glass of Marlborough wine.