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Bordered on one side by the Richmond Ranges and on the other by the Wither Hills, the Wairau Plains is the primary grape-growing area of Marlborough. On this tour you’ll see a range of garden styles, and an equally diverse selection of creative and inspiring gardens, often surrounded by vineyards growing Marlborough’s best-known grape varieties.
The Eversley garden is essentially a planned garden, rather than one that has been developed and extended over time. Over 30 years ago the late Jane Taylor drew a plan for trees to provide a framework and these are now mature. At that time there was no certainty that building on the site would ever be possible. Around 15 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’. As featured in NZ Life & Leisure issue 69 Sept/Oct 2016 (photo credit Paul McCredie).
Talamhmaith means ‘good earth’. The garden combines Viv 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 renga rengas. Oaks, an olive grove and a hedged vegetable garden all add interest and diversity. There are pathways and stream crossings that will lead you on a tour through this restful garden.
Upton Oaks is a romantic country garden, developed around a 1911 Victorian villa. Formal hedging and brick walls define and separate the different garden rooms. From the much-photographed knot garden and along the abundant borders, you can wander through the olive grove to our productive gardens. View the newly-designed gardens around the relocated and restored colonial cottage – Laurella, named after our daughters – which showcase what can be achieved in a smaller space.
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 30 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.
Blessed with the best soil in Marlborough, this country garden has expanded into what nine 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 framework which enhance the different spaces.