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Memories of Garden Marlborough

As Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough celebrates its 30th year, I am sad that I won't attend this year. However, I have some incredible memories of the last time I attended in 2020.

Here are some photos from two of the garden tours I went on - the Wairau Plains, where most of our delicious sauvignon blanc wine is grown; and the rugged East Coast and Awatere Valley on the seaward side of Marlborough.

Garden Marlborough is a really well-organised event with some stunning gardens on display, along with workshops, keynote speakers, a garden fete and a garden party with live music. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Wairau Plains

Talamhmaith is a beautiful garden that cleverly mixes natives with exotics. The water in the garden along with the planting style made this garden very relaxing to spend time in.

Eversley is a formal garden featuring a rill that runs down from the house to a lower lawn framed with Amelanchier trees. The central steps and rill are a bit narrow in proportion and scale, but still a lovely idea.

The Anderson garden has a Piet Oudolf-inspired perennial border which probably looks its best a bit later in the year. My favourite part of this garden was the Poplar walk.

French Fields is a charming property with French-style buildings and fields of lavender, which sadly wasn't quite out.

Welton House is a very unusual garden, featuring lots of euphorbias and rarities. The colour and plant combinations were interesting but it wasn't a very restful garden to spend time in. The use of ground covers was done really well. The house was a bit lost in the whole scheme.

East Coast and Awatere Valley

Winterhome is ten acres of formal gardens, with stunning views over the Marlborough coastline and the Pacific Ocean. Lovely proportions and vistas were evident throughout the garden.

Paripuma is an original garden that uses natives to create a formal garden on a grand scale. I loved the use of the Ngaio trees, which are lifted to create beautiful canopies over the planting.

Barewood is probably the most floriferous garden I have ever seen, with an old cottage draped in Wisteria and surrounded by pretty planting. The bright red lupins and the espaliered fruit domes in the formal potager were exquisite. The owner is a florist and has created a masterful floral arrangement in her garden that is quite overwhelming because there is so much to look at.

Ellerton is another garden with dramatic coastline views and lots of lavender and Mexican orange blossom. The 'bottle house' was a lovely surprise. This garden had some charming features, but is a work in progress and wasn't quite up to the standard of the other gardens on this tour.




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