Friday, October 12, 2012

Theme and Variations Garden Tour Saturday 3 Nov

Theme and Variations Garden Tour things to note:

* Gardens may be visited in any order. Itinerary information is given as if proceeding from South to North.


* Please don't use toilets at private gardens. Public toilets are available at Woodhaugh Gardens, Botanical Gardens (upper and lower) and at Ross Cafe (if having refreshments there).

* Enjoy refreshments at Ross Home Cafe, 360 North Rd. Special for you when you show your itinerary/ticket: FREE tea/coffee/iced water and scone.

* Park on the roadside not the properties (Youth Grow Garden Centre have a public park.)

* Be careful opposite Ashburn Hall. No parking signs will be placed in poor visibility zone.

* Enjoy the day wet or fine.                                      

1. Margaret and Graeme's Garden

A north facing garden which has been developed over the past 20 years from a section covered in gorse and broom. It now features a woodland garden with many rhododendrons and trees, trilliums, erythroniums and spring bulbs. There is also a rockery with many unusual alpine and other rockery plants and a large vegetable patch.

2. Doug and Lesley's Garden

Their 5 acres purchased in 1995 were until then part of  the Ashburn Hall farm. Landscaping and planting of the garden began in 1998. The garden has extensive plantings of bulbs, roses, rhododendrons and conifers. There is also a small lake which becomes a stream in the    lower part of the garden.

3. Trevor and Evelyn's Garden

This house and garden was once occupied by the late Dr Medlicott, former superintendant of Ashburn Hall and a rhododendron enthusiast. After the Medlicotts time, the garden faced several years of reduced care. When the Millars purchased the property 17 years ago much of it was a wilderness of blackberries, gorse, broom and other difficult weeds, and it was difficult to see the extent of the original garden. Years of clearing, discovering, and replanting have brought the garden back to even more than its former glory. Recently it has been extended down into a steep gully now planted with young rhododendrons, beyond the stream flowing from the lake at 19 Dalziel Rd. Damaging storms and severe winds in the last two years have caused large trees to fall crushing several aged and prized rhododendrons and changing previous vistas. Despite this, the present garden is magnificent!

4. Olveston Garden

Situated in the Town Belt this property was built between 1904-06. It carries a Category 1 Historic Places listing. The acre of garden surrounding the house contains an acre of beautiful mature trees, a formal garden structured around original paths and terraces and a well-stocked conservatory. (Interior of house not part of tour.)

5. Peter and Jenny's Garden

Paradise garden and vegetable plot. Grove of nikau and large puriri. If you can manage lots of steps that make this hillside garden accessible, you're in for a treat.

6. North East Valley Community Garden

This Community Garden is an offshoot of the North East Valley Project and was identified by them as something the community wanted.  It is now in its second spring and grows a huge variety of vegetables.  Funding from HEHA (Healthy Eating, Healthy action) and lots of community support has helped.  From spring to autumn there are weekly working bees and participants can take home veges for themselves or to give to people they think may appreciate them.  There is a little parking for people with mobility needs at the top of the drive, otherwise it is best to park in Longworth St especially  in the morning when a working bee will be in full swing.

1000 Fruit and Nut Tree Community Orchard...               
Around this garden some fruit trees, berry and currant bushes have been planted. These are recent additions to a TV473 initiative begun on 4 sites in winter 2009.   Other plantings are in Chingford, on Calder Ave, and on 2 parks and a reserve up in Pine Hill. For more on this story go to

   Enjoy refreshments at Ross Home Cafe, 360 North Rd.
   Special for you when you show your itinerary/ticket:  FREE tea/coffee/iced water and scone.

7. Paul's Eco-friendly Edible Garden
“A minimal weed, no agrichemical spray garden based on  leaf  compost, worms, horse manure, and ground bone. A cool-climate gardening enterprise on a sunny sheltered north facing slope.”  Gumboots handy here, but not essential.  Paul collects and experiments with heritage varieties, especially of potatoes and fruit trees eg apples. Some of the potatoes are heritage Maori vintage also grown by early whalers: yellow flesh with irregular shape. His own varieties cross Maori with English Heather (pink).  Note the uses of recycling and unusual species of free range poultry in this garden.

8. Youth Grow Garden Centre

Opened in 2001, this was an initiative of Presbyterian Support Otago and Leith Valley and Knox Presbyterian Churches. This is a unique garden nursery business with dual objectives: to be commercially successful in a competitive environment and to provide an environment where youth can learn to grow as individuals through 'real work for real pay' and leave with a positive work ethic, self-confidence and horticultural qualifications.  Manager Russell Dixon will be on site to answer any questions. Plants for sale.

9. Tannock Glen

From gravelled paths through 4 acres of woodland garden and mature trees,  see the Specialist Rhododendron Collection built up since 1975 by the Dunedin  Rhododendron Group. This features a large number of  rare species collected from the wild as well as choice local hybrids.

Enjoy the day!

No comments: