Ivy Turret

Six years ago, Ivy Turret Gardens was a half-acre section of mainly grass, a handful of mature trees and an established hedge. Enter Stu (head gardener) and artistic director Kalli and now it’s a colourful mix of flourishing flora and eclectic garden art.

255 High St, Solway

Wheelchair accessible

From the street side, the dark green foliage of a mature ivy hedge is distinctively clipped – offering glimpses into the front garden. The front garden has a Mediterranean theme with citrus, terracotta pots, topiary, a line of flowering cherries and white iceberg roses.

In the larger back garden, you’ll find an enormous 50-year-old matchhead hollybush that Stu regularly sculpts into a rounded form (ladders and special equipment are involved). A weeping elm is the same vintage and provides welcome shade and places to sit beneath in summer.

A steampunk theme runs throughout with plenty of the quirky structures having been foraged and found. An old bullock cartwheel that used to haul kauri logs is now a permanent fixture. The woodshed is adorned with rustic collectables and a giant green moa sculpture watches over the garden.

Stu and Kalli welcome the birds and provide lots of feeders and nesting spots. It’s one of their joys in the garden – to watch them and see the changing seasons.

This is their first time opening on the Wairarapa Garden Tour.