Kokotau Road

Gardener Graeme Wilson and his wife Kate have been developing their two hectare property on Kokotau Road on the outskirts of Carterton for the past 14 years.

It has evolved from an almost treeless property to a wonderful oasis full of twists and turns and surprises hidden away in private pockets, completely unseen from neighbours and the road.

Exploring the Wilsons’ garden is like entering another world. There are so many different elements waiting to be discovered; a native forested area sits alongside rhododendrons and specimen trees on the front lawn.



One of the most unique features is Graeme’s orchid house. Designed and created by Graeme, the motivation for the wooden cone-like structure came from the need to solve a drainage problem. Each winter, a small pond would form, and it was difficult to plant it out. Graeme decided to dig it out and create a permanent structure to protect and house his collection of shade lovers and orchids.

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Splashes of colourful irises surround the orchid house. These are Kate’s favourite blooms. The garden also boasts beautiful peonies, roses, and lilies. Perennial delphiniums and salvias delight around the borders of the alfresco courtyard.

Edible plantings, a tunnel house, chooks and an ivy-covered hut link rural lifestyle and cottage country garden styles together.

The diverse and interesting plantings as you move through the different spaces in this garden are sure to enchant and inspire gardeners from all walks of life.