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92 High Street, Blenheim
0800 627 527
This tour, featuring a new combination of gardens this year, winds around and over the Wairau plain, showcasing a variety of themes in a range of distinctive gardens. Several of the gardens are bordered by vineyards producing renowned Marlborough wines, and each demonstrates a clever response to its unique challenges of climate, topography and soil type.
The garden at Tuamarina is an informal country garden with well-established mixed borders sheltered by the now-mature trees and shrubs planted by the family over the last thirty years. Generous rainfall and great soil means a wonderful variety of plants are grown and cherished, including spring bulbs, woodland perennials, roses and shrubs, with more treasures constantly added by an addicted gardener. The latest addition is a large folly recycled from display at the Singapore and Ellerslie Flower Shows and brought to the garden by Felicity’s brother, Dan Rutherford. Spring and early summer is the prettiest time, when lots of the shrubs, trees and bulbs are flowering.
Talamhmaith means ‘good earth’. The garden showcases Viv’s and Ian’s love of New Zealand natives, with the meandering creek, expansive views to the Richmond Ranges, and a hobby vineyard. The emphasis is on simplicity and low maintenance, utilising multiple plantings of native grasses, flaxes and rengarenga. Oaks, an olive grove and a hedged vegetable garden all add interest and diversity. Pathways and stream crossings will lead you on a tour through this restful garden.
The Eversley garden is in most part a planned garden, rather than one that has been developed and extended over time. Over thirty years ago the late Jane Taylor drew a plan for trees to provide a framework for the garden, and these are now mature. At that time there was no certainty that building on the site would ever be possible. Around fifteen years ago levels were created, hedges were planted to enclose separate areas of the garden and a formal, enclosed rose garden was established. The aim was to create a series of ‘garden rooms’ in the Edwardian fashion as espoused by Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll. One space cannot be seen from another, the idea being to maintain the element of surprise.
Blessed with the best soil in Marlborough, this country garden has expanded into what ten years ago was an empty paddock. Now with a beautiful rose and clematis-covered gazebo, pathways, a pond and a long pergola walk draped with wisteria, it is a tranquil haven filled with many roses, hostas, camellias, hydrangeas and perennials. The garden rooms have a diversity of shapes and foliage and the structures provide a framework to enhance the different spaces.
Settled high on an ancient dune and surrounded by geometric rows of vines, Welton House Garden is at once thoroughly modern and proudly celebrating its 150-year history. Owner Wendy Palmer and her landscape designer brother Ross have created a plant lover’s paradise, filled with rare horticultural beauties along with clever use of the more commonplace. Highlights include unique and extensive topiary hedges which mirror the stunning Richmond Ranges, and powerful, oversized wooden steps, platforms and pergolas that settle the garden in its place. The productive kitchen garden, orchard and large scale composting reflects the sustainability ethos of the garden.