Transforming a bare paddock to a formal garden with more than a thousand irises has taken gardener and painter Allison Hudson on a colourful journey.
121 Ferry Rd
Orginally from Northern Ireland, Allison and husband Gareth came to New Zealand 14 years ago and felt at home in Martinborough immediately. It’s taken about 11 years to develop the property where more than 1000 iris varieties are on display.
Meticulously labelled, Allison can describe the colours of every single variety and their form (dwarf, mid, tall, bearded). With different flowering cycles, expect to see a diverse mix on display during tour weekend. They’ll also be hundreds of irises to buy, as she’s downsizing her collection.
Amongst the irises are roses – as both roses and irises are easily grown together (liking similar growing conditions). Roses are what first hooked Allison into growing irises as she wanted to try growing them together. She never looked back.
Stroll around the rear garden and take in the symmetry of buxus hedging and colourful roses in the formal garden.
Around the outer perimeter of the entire property are native trees for shelter. The utility area includes a productive stand of olives that the Hudson’s press for oil annually.
One of Allison’s greatest joys in the garden is watching and listening to the birds. Look for her Moa sculpture peeking out along the driveway border. New Zealand’s native birds inspire Allison’s art and she paints portraits of native manu – some of these can be found in the café at Pūkaha.
Cash sales of Allison’s irises.