Patiki Kūkūwai – The Water Meadow
Patiki Kūkūwai (the water meadow) will give you a sense of the lushness of this expansive rural garden. Creating drainage has been a constant challenge through the decades for the gardeners of this 1.8ha self-sufficient garden, north of Masterton.
185 Whangaehu Valley Rd
The gardeners, Sarah McLachlan and Rob Macklin showcased their producing garden for the first time in our 2021 Garden Tour. Having inspired many tourers we welcome them back this year. Patiki Kūkūwai has grown over 30 years from bare paddocks to a garden which is a vegetarian’s dream. There are fully productive nut trees, fruit trees, vegetable and herb gardens, and even hop circles.
The self-sufficiency of Patiki Kūkūwai is incredible. The permaculture gardens and orchards are productive and plentiful and include stone fruit, pears, apples, figs, and berries. Each season, Sarah turns the produce into preserves and shares the bounty with friends and family.
Beyond the cottage garden stroll along soft green paths under mature pecan, hazelnut, and walnut trees and look for the hop circle – like a living maypole. Growing hops means making beer – this is Rob’s ambition.
There’s an area where biochar is made and next to this, you’ll find a homemade clay kiln where primitive clay earthenware is being made and fired.
The property while heavily productive has beauty, natural beauty in the production of food to sustain, and nearer the house looking out to the hills is a distinctly curvy lonicera hedge inspired by a picture in a gardening book. Rest for a moment beneath the birch trees and take in the view of Sarah’s stunning cottage garden.
Her palette is yellow, blue, white and silvery grey foliage. There are old friends – larkspurs, aquilegia and David Austen roses – molineux, windrush, pilgrim and Graham Thomas. Pinks and purples surround a garden sleepout. Rose lovers can enjoy the deep crimson blooms of William Shakespeare 2000, purple rambler Veilchenblau, Penelope, Gertrude Jekyll and Munstead Wood.
In the woodlot there are some unusual mature trees. These include a cork oak (yes, this is how natural cork is made!) and a wonderful weeping cedar (Cedrus atlantica glauca pendula affectionately known as Cedric).
The vast green area near the drive provides hours of family fun – golf, cricket, football etc and is lovingly tended to by Rob who (as a retired, experienced greenkeeper for the local golf course) will be putting his skills to the test for the tour weekend.
Bring cash for Sarah’s propagated plants.
Limited parking inside the garden for mobility-challenged visitors.
Limited roadside parking.