This 1 hectare country garden nestled beyond the hills of Martinborough is beginning its journey. 2020 marks a milestone in its development, as it will be almost five years since Luke Gardner and Ben Quay began creating the Longbush Cottage garden.
1023 Longbush Road
Luke is excited about opening Longbush Cottage to the public for the first time, to support Pūkaha, as part of the 2020 Wairarapa Garden Tour.
On arrival you’ll be greeted by the white garden, iceberg roses underplanted with a combination of of white flowers and silver foliage to contrast with the dark grey of the 1890’s cottage.
Luke is a self-taught gardener who has honed his propagation skills, enabling him the freedom to plant in large drifts for maximum impact and experiment with different planting combinations.
The cottage garden hugs the house. Here you’ll find delphiniums, plenty of peonies, irises, aquilegias, lupins, geums, early roses and classic cottage blooms. Beyond the house, the garden is laid out in a series of spaces each with a different theme of planting and colour combinations.
The working part of the garden includes vegetable beds, a cutting garden and Luke’s nursery where a selection of his favourite plants will be for sale.
Wander through the totara lined avenue to the pond – or mere – as Luke and Ben call it. Admire the colours of the nearby hot border leading you through to the orchard with standing stone. The standing stone is the focal point of the avenue and was inspired by one near Ben’s family’s holiday home in France.
Running the length of the property is the Longbush drain. Luke and Ben are working to eradicate weed species and replant with natives, to encourage native birds to the garden.
Pūkaha is grateful to Luke and Ben for choosing the tour’s 10th anniversary to open Longbush Cottage publicly. It will be a garden to watch, as it flourishes in years to come.