Of bairns and birdsong

Of Bairns and Birdsong is a delightful garden created for the owners’ grandchildren to play, take in the fresh air, fresh fruit, produce and flowers as well as enjoy outdoor living together with beautiful birdsong.

The owners hail from England and Scotland and you will see a distinctive European influence, particularly an Italian influence in the outdoor dining area with its pergola, shaped shrubbery and box hedge design. The row of flowering cherry trees beside the pool provides a stunning backdrop for hot summer swims.

181h Willow Park Drive

RefreshmentsToilet available Wheelchair accessibleBYO picnic

You won’t believe that just six years ago this amazing garden was a 2 acre bare paddock, with only mature poplar trees on the southern boundary. The vision of the owners was to create garden rooms for the children to play and explore and for the adults in the family to relax, recuperate and enjoy country living. The planting began with colour throughout the year in mind.

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The straight driveway was re-shaped in curves and lined with claret ashes, the front of the section planted in flowering crab apples, woodland plantings full of rhododendrons, hydrangeas, roses, native shrubs and the odd fruit tree or two provide double-sided interest, height and colour to the garden as well as plenty of hiding spots for the children.

A circular garden with box hedge borders filled with luscious purple lavender is perfectly complemented by bright yellow standard tea roses and a cornus (Eddie’s White Wonder) feature tree in the centre.  The gardens are perfectly situated to allow for plenty of wide open spaces for the children to run and play, and for the sun to reach into the garden.

Espalier apples, berry house and a bountiful potager garden provide not only plenty of on-hand snacks for hungry children but plenty of produce for the garden owners all year round.  Feature trees are dotted around the property to provide shady spots for the children and adults to rest after all that playing.

A wee cottage was added to the property, and what better than to create a proper cottage flower bed around and in front of the cottage filled with self-seeding perennials and topped up each year with annuals.

A creek flows across the back section, complete with its own special wee bridge (perfect for launching paper boats) and archway to the riverbank and native plantings.  You’ll notice that there are cape cod and other seats placed all around the property and a newly built gazebo, surrounded by almonds and ceanothus – there are so many places to relax and enjoy so many visual pleasures in this garden.

You might notice the thicket of sweet smelling choysia, lavender and mint cleverly disguising the essential but unsightly septic tanks – no longer unsightly surrounded by pretty plants.

Fiona and Tom say there is still plenty to come with this garden and we can’t wait to see what else they may have in store in years to come!