New to the Pūkaha Wairarapa Garden Tour is the compact and charming Dogwood HALL courtyard garden of Lorraine Hall.
With a natural flair for design, Lorraine created her courtyard garden with a love of nature, colour and symmetry in mind. She plotted on paper first and wanted to achieve soothing vistas to gaze upon when looking out from inside her historic villa.
132 Main Street
Her home was once the original Duff Bakery of 1894, but the courtyard is modern, only about six years old, with the exception of a relic flowering cherry tree (about 40 years old).
Not surprisingly you’ll find plenty of dogwood trees – 17 in fact. One of the first things Lorraine did was create height and colour along the boundary – for privacy, and shade. At the end of the driveway tulip trees have been added more recently and create a successful micro-climate for undergrowth.
White is the predominant colour throughout, with green foliage providing softness – especially along the hard surfaces, where boston ivy covers the acoustic fence (built to absorb traffic noise from Main St).
Clipped buxus sempervirens provides structure and form year round. Along the western fence you’ll see an orginal buxus from Carterton’s Richmond Garden.
For summer fragrance there are roses: Bianca de Coubert and Sir Edmund Hillary, and star jasmine. In winter daphne odoro alba and shade loving hellebore Ivory Prince and Winter Sunshine. In spring, expect to see solomon seal, granny bonnets swan white hydrangeas oakleaf quercifolia Snow Queen lacecap Fuji Waterfall, and paniculata Limelight and Annabelle.
Lorraine enjoys seeing the seasonal changes in her courtyard garden and loves encouraging visitors of the winged variety to explore. She is regularly visited by piwakawaka, tui and kererū. She has even been surprised by a NZ Falcon (kārearea) hovering above her fishpond one evening.
A more relaxing pastime is enjoying sitting by the pond watching the goldfish with the soft sound of the water running over the stone sphere.
She gardens organically as much as possible; uses salt to control weeds on pathways, mulches heavily and applies a weekly dose of liquid seaweed fertiliser during the growing season.