Taratahi - A Developing Garden

Unbelievably, this fantastic garden at Taratahi was bare paddock 6 years ago. Now established shelter (Alnus cordata), clipped hedges (Lonicera and Portugese Laurel), and stunning trees and shrubs create a strongly defined structure for new stages of development. Garden development stepped up a gear last year, with the addition of a tennis court, guest cottage, and infilling of several of the hedged spaces. I have been working with the enthusiastic owner for six years now, and we amend garden plans to adapt to new needs/structures, and fine-tune the planting. The garden is definitely a work in progress, and the main house isn't even built yet. The owner truly has VISION! Watch this space.....

A circular garden pond, surrounded by Cabbage Trees and ground cover
as a deliberate contrast to the formality of clipped hedges and the formal lines
of the adjacent garden rooms - Winter 2010
The stunning circular pond with steps across, leading to the herbaceous border, potager garden,
and main lawn beyond.  Viewed from the guest cottage winter 2010
Same view - Summer 2012
Cabbage trees underplanted with Star Jasmine
(and sometimes potatoes!) as groundcover
The potager, with a standard bay tree in the centre, and herbs around the edges.
Another view into the potager, through the archway which doubles
as bean and grape support Feb12

This huge lawn and shrubbery were designed to be seen from the main house (not yet built), but also to be an interesting walk along internal meandering  paths, with lots of seasonal surprises along the path (bulbs, seats, perennials). The hedge defines the entire area, and regular planting of flowering Cherry trees underplanted with purple flaxes enhances the circular shape, and helps the eye travel easily around the entire garden. It has to look good 12 months of the year, so lots of structural trees and shrubs, deciduous and evergreen,with seasonal flowers and colour to poke up above the hedge....
Two of the dozen cherry trees, Prunus Mount Fuji, underplanted with
purple flax, dietes, and lots of shrubs 

Looking onto the main lawn from the darkness of the maturing silver birches

Physocarpus 'Shady Lady' and flaxes with purple foliage close to the
front, with a mixed background of trees and shrubs - Feb12

Maclaeya cordata in the shrubbery

Acer senkaki - stunning bare branches in winter.
Part of the original shrubbery around the main lawn. 
Winter 2010
Pathway through the middle of the main shrubbery

I love the white violets and variegated iris
picking up the white trunks in the Silver Birch Avenue
Winter 2010
The avenue of Melia azedarach was planted 6 years ago.
The bare trees have a striking form. Winter 2010.
Chaenomeles (Japonica/Flowering Quince)
Winter 2010 Main shrubbery

The newest part of the garden, outside the cottage.
Mass plantings of  Sedum and Aristea in the foreground.
Winter 2010.
 Same garden, but early autumn 2011, with views beyond to the Tararua Ranges.
Lavender in the foreground, with Sedum and Astelia beyond.
Pin Oaks (Quercus palustris) form an avenue the length of the driveway.
They are planted about 9m apart, and will eventually join overhead.
Important to keep limbing them up (taking the lower branches off),
as they grow, so large vehicles can still fit under. June '13
Over winter months, the trees lose their leaves, and daffodils become the feature.
Note the mowing strip between the drive and the bulbs - this is so the
driveway edges can continue to be tidy, whilst waiting for the daffodil
foliage to die down naturally, which can take several months.