One garden, two houses, some lessons from the past and hope for the future. A look at life in New Zealand, a bit of history and a Morris jig or two.
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November 20, 2011
Ohoka Garden Tour
This morning I set out, camera in hand, to join three other gardeners on the Ohoka School Garden Tour, but from the moment I turned into the drive of the appointed meeting place it became a more personal day, not adhering strictly to the programme. I longed to explore the park-like grounds of Liz's garden, but it wasn't on today's schedule and Sue, who as a professional gardener to many of Ohoka's fine gardens, was eager to show us next door before we began the official tour.
By now I was aware just how strongly the morning light was influencing my garden viewing. It struck strong shadows and back-lit peonies; it glanced off foliage and sharpened bright greens.
And then as heat suffused the light, the scents began to release.
We saw immaculate topiary...
And pergolas too.
We saw sculpture...
And kitchen gardens...
And follies a-few.
There were Classical references...
As well as home-grown.
And then it was time for lunch
(I had enjoyed a cup of elderflower cordial along the way).
Returning to Liz's garden, past her hay meadow, ripe for cutting,
We unpacked our picnic for four.
At leisure then we toured the garden, with its superb setting of old established trees, and I came away feeling that this was my favourite garden today: because of the trees and the grand design making space as important as the plantings, allowing the farmland to be part of the whole - and because I was a guest in it, at ease there with gardener and owner and friend to show me around.
The Ohoka School Garden Tour is a biennial event and one of Canterbury's premium garden tours. It is a major fund-raising project for the rural primary school.