Tyburn the Monastic Garden

Tyburn the Monastic Garden

In the heart of Bombay, on the rural outskirts of Auckland City, lies Tyburn Monastery where a community of Catholic Nuns live. What a privilege it is in this modern era to be able to visit a monastery garden with park-like grounds, native bush walks, and quiet places of peace and contemplation.

Pokeno Garden Ramble is immensely grateful and proud that Tyburn Monastery has opened their beautiful gardens for the public to visit – one day only on Saturday November 13th.
Where better to find solace than in an uplifting monastic garden, a quiet sacred space where you can turn inward.  Tyburn provides beautiful enclosed and hidden gardens that shelter visitors from the storms of the world.

Tyburn is a garden of its own time, its own being, possessing its own outstanding originality and style.

Though similar in principle to monastic gardens the world over, Tyburn is a uniquely New Zealand garden in its choice of plants. The whole garden is a composition in lush, exuberant greens, an education for those who believe the main purpose of a garden is colour. It has a great deal of colour too, but the colours are harmonious inflections, used with great subtlety and imagination.
Green is a restful consoling colour, soothing and relaxing, traditionally a major colour of paradise. An appreciation of the myriad shades of green is fundamental to successful paradise gardening. 

Green is both transparent and opaque, varying in the refinements of leaf formation in each plant. At Tyburn green is provided in infinite variations, lush verdant greens and variegated leaves, green tinged with lemons and yellows, green overlaid with silver greys, brown-greens, blue-greens, light greens, deep dark greens, red greens, all crisp, fresh, clean and soothing. 

In an era of acute ecological consciousness Tyburn has focused on a natural garden, a garden of refuge, a healing garden. 
Tyburn is full of outdoor garden rooms in which to relax, alongside tiny alcoves of exquisite detail and delicacy in which to pray and meditate. Within its framework separate gardens flow naturally on one from the other. The result is a mixture of natural charm, sophistication and subtlety, where visitors can connect with their natural surroundings and nature does the healing. 
Monks and Nuns have welcomed travelers for over 1700 years since the first Christian monastery was established in 290 AD. Tyburn Monastery was originally founded in France by the Benedictines to follow St Benedicts edict since 480 AD:
“All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger to you and you welcomed me.”

Tyburn Bombay is one of 2 Tyburn monasteries in New Zealand, and one of a group of monasteries the world over, one link in a chain of Tyburn Monasteries that have provided uplifting gardens, refuges, and secluded retreats for many visitors over the world who needed a sanctuary, for hundreds of years. 

Traditionally the 3 main purposes of a monastery garden were that it be functional, symbolic, and aesthetic. 
While Bombay’s Tyburn Monastery garden is not an exact replica of monastery plantings from millennia past, it does contain a variety of plants and features traditional monasteries would have cultivated. 

Traditionally small monasteries like Tyburn were miniature villages of monks and nuns that needed to be self-sufficient. In centuries past gardening, baking bread and cooking to feed everyone, were major tasks to be performed, second only to praying and meditating. 

Monasteries were self-contained with functional kitchen gardens and orchards  full of fruit and vegetables, and medicinal herb gardens for healing and apothecary work. 
Traditionally monks and nuns were the scholars of their communities. They created libraries, recorded births and deaths, created hospitals and medicines,  collected data, and ran schools and educational institutes that were the forerunner to universities. 

Such knowledge and skills often made them the most advanced gardeners, farmers, and manufacturers in their communities. Monasteries not only used ancient plants but also bred derivatives, suggesting the state of horticulture and botany were very advanced.  Gregor Mendel (1822 – 1884) the meteorologist, mathematician, biologist, and father of modern genetics, who discovered the fundamental laws of genetic inheritance, was a reflection of the enlightened horticultural practises encouraged in monasteries. 

Equally important was the spiritual and religious meaning of the monastic garden, which saw the garden as a natural symbol for Heaven or the lost Garden of Eden. Traditionally many monastery flowers were grown for their precise symbolic meaning, such as the red rose as a symbol of the blood of Christ, or the white rose which symbolised the Virgin Mary. Avenues with pergolas adorned with vines, enclaves and garden rooms with seats were important places for adoration and worship, meditation and prayer. Flowers were not only grown for aesthetics, but would also have been grown for their perfume, like jasmine, to be used as offerings to church figures, and decorations for the chapel. 

Visiting a monastery like Tyburn is an important link to understanding the past, glimpsing a way of life common in medieval communities, whose origins stretch back thousands of years. 

Apart from the welcome extended to visitors, who come to look, Tyburn also provides facilities for people who want to stay longer and use the beautiful surroundings for spiritual renewal and retreats, as well as education and training. For more information please visit their website https://www.tyburnmonastery.nz/retreat-bombay
Categorised as Garden

The Romance of the Rose

The Romance of the Rose

Our gardens are dynamic places to get creative. This garden built on several levels to handle a steep site, ensures you are propelled to newer views as you weave your way through the property. Below the driveway at the top, in descending terraces, areas of natives and an orchard have been developed, punctuated by a lawn which provides green relief from the colourful gardens below. 

The vibrant exuberance of flower borders by the house is a stimulating contrast to the natives and the restful lawns. The borders are packed with roses, annuals and perennials in pretty profusion, all jostling healthily together in an irrepressible display of floral exuberance. The imaginative use of levels creates a vista of delights awash with vibrant striking colour. The moment you walk by the beautiful rose garden in Summer your senses are heightened and exhilarated. The romance of the rose, its beauty, colour and scent, is a love affair in this garden. 

Rose gardens date back to the ancient palaces of Rome, Persia and Egypt. From antiquity the rose has been a symbol of love and beauty. Legend has it that Cleopatra scattered her boudoir with an inch deep of rose petals.  But the rose is much older than the human race. 

The flower originated in Central Asia 60 million years ago. Fossils have been found in Oregon and Colorado that have been dated to 30 million years. Around 5000 years ago the Chinese began cultivating it – now it is cultivated the world over.    

The most practical appeal of the rose is that we can all grow them. Their beautiful fragile flowers bely their hardiness. 

An interest in roses can easily become an obsession. But in this garden the enthusiasm is balanced by other varieties of flowers, natives, and orchard trees. Always a work in progress, while the owners are happy with their varied garden, they are constantly improving it. They welcome you to visit and share their love of gardening.
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The Practical Drought Resistant Garden

The Practical Drought Resistant Garden

Bruce and Diana’s pretty garden expresses their own individual sense of style. A work in progress, the garden is not just an expression of its owners, but a response to circumstance, use, and location.

When they first took over the property 4 years ago it was a blank canvas. They quickly set to work to plan a garden that had plenty of colour, was attractive to the birds, relatively easy to maintain, and practical.

They have created a low maintenance garden that is very relevant to modern home owners conscious of the need to conserve natural resources like water.

A beautiful low maintenance drought tolerant garden that sits in harmony with its environment is the dream of many a home owner. The trick to achieving this is to avoid thirsty plants and minimise evaporation.  These owners chose drought resistant plants that thrive despite limited water.

Diana and Bruce have created a balanced composition that follows the contour of the land, providing year round interest. They have planted an assortment of trees, shrubs, and perennials of varying tones, providing a sequence of colours that lead your eye around the garden.

Tough New Zealand natives blended with proteas and leucadendrons in the garden provide visual depth, while accents are created with colourful roses, annuals and perennials, and pots of colour to add a sense of drama. The deck provides a quiet place to sit and soak up the surrounding nature and wildlife.

As the icing on the cake the gardens main vista is the added bonus of wonderful views of Auckland city.

The final result is a dream come true garden relevant to today’s busy home owners, filled with low maintenance splendour. Diana and Bruce look forward to welcoming you in their garden.
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The Multi-level Garden

The Multi-level Garden

This compact garden on an elevated site and sloping section has been developed over the past 18 months. Using creative combinations of colour that not only look good but are easy to maintain, in this garden flowing with bright flowers, colour is king. Flamboyant colour and masses of it creates a joyful sunny garden.

Designed to take advantage of its sloping site the garden is not only beautiful to walk into, but also to look down on. Plants of various shapes, sizes and colours are used in interesting ways. Elevated views seen from above show a wide array of plantings over several levels to be admired in a leisurely way.
The owner welcomes you to enjoy her joyful multi-level garden that provides year round interest and colour.
Categorised as Garden

The Large Country Garden

The Large Country Garden

This garden, a mix of formal and informal areas, is a wonderful outdoor living space with several interesting zones to explore and relax in. The owners bought the property a year ago and became the proud owners of a beautiful established country garden.

They have touched the grounds lightly, choosing to enhance the properties existing landscape components rather than bring change. The grounds combine formal aspects but with a relaxed country feel and the owners are keen to continue the gardens rich legacy. 

The garden’s mix of shrubs and flowers, native bush walkways, and tree-lined paths is given cohesion and structure  by simple elements of formality in its design. 
Strong shapes, outlines, and formal vistas draw the eye, while expanses of lawn, clipped hedges and topiary shaped as sentinels give a sense of timelessness and grandeur to the garden.

While the owners have made a few changes and given the garden their own personal touches complimenting the original garden, they have worked to respect and preserve the gardens original design and highlight some of its classic features, such as its beautiful symmetry and its living sculpture, its topiary.

Topiary as an art form goes back to Roman times and beyond. It has been in and out of fashion over the centuries but was revived and kept alive by the British Arts and Crafts Movement in the 19th century. It is now appreciated and cultivated in both humble cottage gardens as well as the gentrified cottage and formal gardens of aristocracy.
Archeological evidence of topiary exists, as well as writings of the Roman consul Pliny the Younger, who described the topiary in his own garden in detail in the first century AD. Pliny the Younger wrote about the pleasure gardens of Roman villas being laid out in formal Italian designs with clipped trees, topiary and shrubs. 

When you move past the topiary into the garden’s more informal areas the sense of openness and progression draws you into walkways and secret enclosures planted with romantic profusions of flowers. Glimpses through openings in hedges and gateways act as gentle transitions through to native walkways, shade tunnels, rock gardens, and tree lined paths.

While the owners are very happy with their garden, they will continue improving and developing it with new focal points. They welcome you to explore the peace, serenity, and beauty of their lovely country garden which is both contemporary and respectful of the past. 

Categorised as Garden

The Formal Country Garden

The Formal Country Garden

A reflection of the owners desire for a colourful contemporary country garden, this meticulous 1 HA (2.47 acre) property evokes all the beauty of large country gardens from the past. This elegant stylish garden of exquisite detail, set in the countryside of Ramarama, takes you by surprise.

The visitors journey begins with a 200 metre drive lined by liquidamber trees, leading to a garden of extensive lawns, specimen trees and formal trimmed hedges with colourful underplantings.

The impeccably clipped hedges are living architecture, a classical background against which roses, silver leafed plants, and herbaceous perennials display their Summer glory. In Winter the substantial hedges remain, their structural presence making up for the lack of flowers then.

Informal border plantings of exuberant perennials within the gardens formal framework, adds a pleasant contrast, and an abundance of trees of differing sizes adds vertical scale and height. The lawn is punctuated by a large pergola festooned with climbing roses, and contemporary art providing focal points.

This is a garden that delights the eye by being attractive all year round. From any point the beauty of this garden can be admired in a leisurely way.

The owners welcome you to come enjoy the heady scent of roses mingling with the fragrance of many other floral perfumes, in their beautiful colourful contemporary country garden.

Categorised as Garden

The Culinary Garden

The Culinary Garden

Growing fruit and vegetables in ornamental gardens evolved in the monastery gardens and castle gardens of Medieval England and Europe.

Then wealthy landowners followed, growing food gardens that became works of art, gardens like Villaindry in France and Barnsley House in England, where edible gardens were subjected to elaborate, strictly symmetrical geometrical arrangements.

These garden traditions were originally influenced by the horticultural and botanical writings of the Roman scholar Pliny (Ad 23 – AD 79), who wrote 37 encyclopaedias on natural history, the first encyclopaedia set on biology, zoology, anatomy, and botany written in the Western world.

Brad and Leigh’s garden is a semi-formal edible garden, with espaliered fruit trees and perennials in the front garden, and vegetable gardens at the back. It’s a modern version of traditional decorative gardening that stretches back thousands of years into antiquity.

A combination of art and practicality the garden has 60 fruit trees including 24 espaliered apples and pears. The vegetable garden is organic as nothing is sprayed and they use their own compost.

Any professional chef will tell you nothing beats the taste of fresh organic produce. Grow your own not only has monetary benefits, home grown fruit and vegetables reacquaint the tastebuds with beautiful flavours only freshly harvested food has. Chefs know food cooked within minutes of being picked or dug carries a taste unlike anything you will taste from any shop or restaurant. A taste money can’t buy that only nature can give you.

If you’re interested in vegetable gardening or fruit gardens with exciting challenging designs, or would like to meet owners who experiment with decorative edible gardening, Brad and Leigh welcome you to visit their garden, , to enjoy their educational edible garden where horticultural expertise is evident.
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Robyns Nest the Healers Garden

Robyns Nest the Healers Garden

Robyns Nest, set on a hillside looking over to Mt William, used to be a bird and animal sanctuary. Robyn worked with the SPCA rehabilitating and healing wild birds, and any other animal that ended up on her doorstep. It was a healing place. Hence the name Robyns Nest.

Full of roses, perennials, natives and handsome trees, Robyns Nest has that nostalgic ‘far from the worries of the world’ atmosphere characteristic of country gardens. It is a healing garden with the owner focusing on the physical aspects of Rongoa, the traditional medicinal properties of native plants.

Walking through the front gate, the sight of Robyns country villa whisks visitors back to a bygone era. The garden is a kaleidoscope of plants, flowers, and textures. Everything flowers so beautifully in Robyns garden. It is a happy place. It has the magical feeling of a healing place.

Her planting style is informal, with roses, hydrangeas and dahlias planted to remind her of the scents and colours of her childhood. The gardens follow the contours of her land. To the left of the front gate is a small paddock where natives, Manuka, Kawakawa, Hebe and Harakeke (NZ flax) surround Robyn’s mini zoo, her menagerie of pets. These plants are favourites of all the local birdlife ensuring the garden is constantly filled with birdsong.

The deck overlooks a pond at the rear of the villa, a wildlife area with cottage gardens and wildflowers around the pond, providing a haven for butterflies and bees. Mixed borders flowing around the villa are layered with a cast of successive seasonal blooms. Spring time is full of colour and scents, plants massed for spectacular effect, spring bulbs followed by daylilies and roses, daisies and dahlias in summer and autumn, a constantly changing kaleidoscope as the different seasonal flowers come to life.

All year round Robyn conducts a symphony of bloom at Robyns nest. She welcomes you to her congenial country garden in a beautiful nostalgic country atmosphere.
Categorised as Garden

Loch Views the Secluded Garden

Loch Views the Secluded Garden

This garden shows what can be done in a compact space. Created on a 564 sqm site with a 200 sqm home, Loch Views is a vision of abundance in a small area.

The garden’s structure is simple. A variety of small trees different in foliage, shape, and colour complement the house, as a starting point for an assembly of plants that shows the owners eye for design.
At the front of the house lies a professionally formed garden with boulders, and plantings of camelias, daisies, succulents, and alstromerias. A courtyard at the back forms an intimate entertainment area, where an outdoor table and chairs bridge the transition from house to garden. Raised beds run parallel to the house behind a container garden of masses of plants. Both provide vertical interest at different levels. A backbone of clipped hedge on the other side of the courtyard acts as a screen amidst plantings of hydrangeas, fuschias, and annuals.
Though everything is seen at close range the garden cannot be seen in its entirety from any one viewpoint. The pale colours of the courtyard offset seasonal shows of colour against backdrops of green, intermingled with favourite plants.
The owner could be termed a botanist, adding loved plants as the mood takes her. She has had to condense her most loved plants into a small garden of restrained colour harmonies and textural contrasts.
This is a plant lover’s garden. It exudes great care and attention in the maintenance of all its plants. Nothing has been left to chance. The result is pure delight. The owner welcomes you into her small secluded delectable garden.
Categorised as Garden

Farley the Informal Garden

Farley the Informal Garden

There was nothing here when the owner of this garden first arrived, just a bare paddock which became her blank canvas. Since then she has named her garden Farley after the village where she was born in England.

Farley is an intimate, enclosed garden in an informal, but highly organised space, with a sense of openness as you are drawn around the property. Farley has a gracious, understated subtle beauty combined with a dynamic impact and energy.

The garden has developed over the last 8 years into lawns surrounded by ordered well proportioned borders.. A large bank planted with trees in Farleys first years, has expanded into a varied collection of foliage plants that provide year round structural interest. Farley started as cuttings from the owner’s previous garden, and from friends. Then it “grew like Topsy – very informally,” the owner says, into a fusion of the different places and people in her life.

The gardens dynamic but restrained colour harmony achieves a restfulness using shrubs of different leaf shapes,sizes, and colours against a backdrop of green, The large bank of shrubs, set inside beautiful stone boulders, harmonise with softly coloured flowers, ensuring something is in bloom all year round.

The garden features a greenhouse,in addition to raised vegetable beds, a small orchard, and a woodland area of native and other trees. Farly is also home to 3 cats and 3 ducks.

We hope you enjoy the informal beauty of this lovely country garden, which the owner continues to expand as time and energy permit.
Categorised as Garden

East of Bali the Exotic Garden

East of Bali the Exotic Garden

Lush, serene, and tranquil, East of Bali is a garden abundant with greenery, texture, and colour. Inspired by Bali, and the Balinese belief that nature is a reflection of the Creator, East of Bali reflects the Balinese innate sense of harmony, and belief that our gardens are extensions of ourselves.

In the centre is a water feature, a Buddha pond set amongst palms creating a tranquil space. Fish shimmy under the ponds surface, creating vibrant ripples of colour. The pond provides a cooling atmosphere in Summer, instantly soothing and relaxing.

Gazebos around the pond entice the natural feel of the garden, helping to extend the use of the garden year round. Stepping stones to the Buddha pond allow for slow meandering and thoughtful meditation.  
Reflecting Bali‘s focus on art and sculpture, East of Bali displays a range of art created by local, as well as Balinese artists.
East of Bali also has a small orchard, and behind a charming distressed painted wooden gate, a healthy sized vegetable garden combines with a relaxing potting shed, the owners ‘Sheila Shed’, to bring the garden to life.
We hope you enjoy and are inspired by  East of Bali‘s ethos of connecting deeply with your environment.
Categorised as Garden

Atea – The Artists Garden

Atea - The Artists Garden

Atea is the garden of artists Jane and Phil Crosbie. Located in Pokeno not far from the Waikato river,  Atea occupies 35 acres of native bush, wetlands, pasture, wildlife garden and cultivated decorative gardens. 

Phil is a sculptor with a passion for native bush. Jane is a painter with her own studio/art gallery on Atea’s grounds, and a passion for gardening. Their dream is to turn Atea into a beautiful sculpture park in the future. 

Atea is a huge experimental garden, an unusual constantly developing property that defies gardening logic and doesn’t act the way ‘normal’ gardens should. It’s a wild and beautiful place where the owners seek to create a park-like setting that is as inspiring aesthetically as it is attractive to the wild life they wish to support. Supporting wildlife dictates the ethos of this dynamic garden.

Every garden begins with an idea, a vision, a dream. Jane dreams of creating a refuge, a sanctuary, her own version of paradise where nature and art work together to heal people. Atea is the Maori word for Heaven. 

Every garden has a spirit, an individuality, a personality, and a gardener has to get to know that spirit and personality intimately. That can take a lifetime, because gardening on a 35 acre scale is a complex relationship between the gardener and nature. 

Every large-scale gardener will tell you nature is a rebel, and nature has a sense of humour, an absolutely wicked sense of humour to match her rebellious spirit. In a large garden nature teaches you she is totally in control, she is always an education, and if you go to war with her you will lose, because nature is too strong.

The success of any relationship depends on give and take, so Jane aims for a win-win relationship where both her and nature are happy. But keeping nature happy makes for a complicated, unusual, sometimes chaotic garden because nature rules in favour of diversity and natural complexity.

It means you have to go with the flow, understand nature’s moods, and know when to let nature do her own thing. That can make for an unruly garden at times because nature survives by networking, by interconnections. Nature relies on a synthesis,a fusion of complicated inter-relationships.  Unruly by human standards, but rich, diverse and complex by nature’s standards. So you have to keep the faith, keep your eye on the big picture and believe nature will work everything out in the end.

To get the best out of your land you have to understand every microclimate in every pocket in every acre of your land, you have to know when to leave the land alone to be itself, heal itself, express itself, and when the land will support you expressing your creativity. It’s a delicate subtle education of infinite detail which can take a long time.

You have to understand that nature always knows best. You have to learn to trust nature, to allow the land to guide you, to let the land speak to you – and respect the messages the land gives you, to allow the land to dictate what you can and cannot do. 

It’s a different form of gardening to the norm. But when you let nature do her own thing, gardening becomes utterly weird and wonderful. Lots of strange things happen that defy science, defy horticultural principles from learned scholars, and defy the knowledge  and conventional wisdom of gardeners the world over. 

When you let nature become your friend and you don’t impose your will on that friendship, and you co-operate win-win, gardening becomes utterly unpredictable, a whole lot more exciting, a whole lot more fun, and amazing surprises happen that are not supposed to. Gardening becomes one massive creative experiment.  The rewards are infinite.

Over the last 25 years Phil and Jane have owned Atea, it has become a cultivated wilderness garden that honours the surrounding Waikato landscape. 

The cultivated areas include several varieties of garden: succulent gardens, informal cottage gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards, and wilderness gardens alongside regenerating native bush.

The essence of planting in the decorative gardens around the owners house is a calculated lack of obvious plan. The cultivated area is in effect a huge cottage garden with no formal structure, just curved paths of gravel surrounded by borders embedded with a profusion of succulents, shrubs and flowers, roses, lavendas, daisies, perennials, annuals, wild fruit trees, and flax everywhere. Flax everywhere because the owners love it when every tui in the neighbourhood comes to feast on flax nectar. So flax in several colours form the backbone of the borders to attract flocks of tui and other birds and ensure the garden is filled with birdsong all year round. 

Many of the garden’s plants grow wild with rampant reseeders propagating themselves, lambs ears, california poppies, cosmos, calendula, osteospermum, agapanthus, acanthus, aquilegias and silverbeet all reseed to pop up in the most unexpected places. Parsley grows every year like a weed in the gravel paths and is harvested for culinary use, and mint can be harvested throughout the flower borders. Chlorophytum, cannas, yucca, succulents, arctotis and irises spread themselves at will, as do wild fruit trees. Drifts of flowers growing wild fill the gardens.

There is a wild fruit tree orchard at the front of the house where every tree came from seeds and pips thrown over the deck by the owners’ children. Persimmon trees grow wild, among wild apple, peach, nectarine, avocado and loquat trees.  At the back of the owner’s house is the non-wild orchard. But the wild orchard cultivated by nature produces infinitely more fruit than its non-wild counterpart. 

Wild fruit trees pop up around the house of their own accord. Including a wild avocado tree that has started to bear the silkiest most divine tasting avocados at 6 years old from seed. According to conventional horticultural rules this can’t happen. Wild avocados are not meant to fruit till they are 12 to 15 years old, if they fruit at all, and when they do the fruit is not supposed to taste heaven sent, it’s supposed to be sub-standard. Wild peaches, wild apples, and wild nectarines start fruiting at 2 years old from seed at Atea, long before cultivated varieties. 

Atea has a natural fecundity and abundance. The owners have learnt when they let nature do her thing, amazingly the wild fruit trees are stronger, bear larger crops of fruit, and fruit faster than cultivated varieties of fruit trees. They also taste just as good. An added bonus is wild fruit trees revert back to ancient parent varieties that may no longer be sold at nurseries. 

What is even more amazing is none of the plants at Atea are watered or fed, few are pruned, yet many grow exceptionally. Plants are not mollycoddled. If they can’t survive of their own accord they don’t survive at all. Except for the vegetable garden. In summer the vegetables are watered sparingly because the property is on tank water supply and water is a luxury that cannot be squandered.
Atea is on a hill and prey to every blast of wind that rages through the Waikato, of which it gets a good deal. Fierce Southerlies from the Antarctic and ferocious Westerlies off the Tasman have been known to rip the garden to shreds. Winds so strong they rip mature trees out of the ground, part the remaining trees like lace curtains and tear every plant in their wake. 

The only mulch able to be used on the property are stones from the local quarry, because the owners rapidly learnt that within weeks of laying bark mulches, all the bark would be blown away by storm winds. 

In very wet winters the Waikato River floods and Atea can lose half its plants to phytopthora. Very cold winters with frosts down to minus 6 degrees can kill even more. Weeds grow gigantic at Atea and with kikuyu growing a metre a week kikuyu alone can be a major killer that smothers the gardens and has to be managed. Add to the mix rabbits which once ate an entire new avocado orchard overnight, and gnaw the flesh of every young tree and shrub, and possums that eat everything else the rabbits don’t – then hordes of wild turkeys, flocks of pukeko and pigeons, even peacocks thriving on the fruit gardens, you have a very dynamic fragile organic ecosystem. The conventional way to win is to kill everything in sight with sprays and poisons. The owners refuse to do this. They let the ecosystem establish its own biological controls and balance, exercising control over the fauna when necessary.

But despite many tribulations and setbacks over the years nature takes them all in her stride and comes back with a sweet determination to survive. Nature always evolves, adapts, and wins. 

When Jane and Phil want to get their creative juices flowing they sit in their garden with a cup of tea enjoying their park-like surrounds – listening to native trees rustling their leaves in the breeze – watching roses swaying in the wind – inhaling the soothing and sweet fragrances pervading the vibrant healing atmosphere – and their creative juices start flowing.

Artists Phil and Jane invite you to experience their unusual wild, complex, and sometimes chaotic garden, and their love of the natural world. Their garden is an extension of their artistic creativity, a view of their very private art worlds, and therefore an extension of art. They hope you enjoy Atea, their slice of Heaven.
Categorised as Garden