Redbank Estate Vineyard

The quiet solitude of Deborah’s garden provides her with the much-needed thinking time a busy business owner needs.  Deborah, an award-winning journalist and newspaper columnist, former Act MP and author, has recently sold the bookshop she established in Martinborough to start a publishing company. I’m sure much of her inspiration and ideas are born in that garden think-time.

224 Te Muna Road

Sales availableBYO picnic Toilet available

Creating every aspect of this garden from a bare paddock in the middle of a vineyard has been a blessing to balance Deborah’s work and home life. The self-proclaimed “poker-inner sort of gardener – if it looks good stick it in somewhere” Deborah has an intuition that has developed into a beautiful natural country garden. I’d go as far as to say whimsical – Deborah delights in her “weeds” with yarrow, heal-all, euphorbia and dandelions popping up colour alongside poppies, phacelia, scabiosa, gaura, salvia and calendula – there is no want for colour in this garden.

The circa 13ha property on Te Muna Road (te reo Māori for secret or special place) lives up to its translated name. Redbank Estate vineyard is truly a very special place for Deborah and her husband Colin Carruthers to relax, and enjoy the birds, and the animals – including two Labradors.

Creating the garden hasn’t been all poppies and roses; the first fruit trees and shrubs Deborah carefully chose and planted 15 years ago were all ripped out by a classic Wairarapa nor’westerly. Then the wicked Wairarapa frost killed off the next plantings. Determined not to be beaten, the fruit trees were planted in a fully enclosed cage – serving multiple purposes, to shelter from the wind and frost as well as to protect the fruit from birds.

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Beautifully rich compost is produced in the triple open compost bays, particularly with the addition of the discarded grape marc – a by-product of winemaking. This nutrient-dense compost contributes to the health of the fruit, vegetables and abundant flower beds.

Pots and sculptures are dotted around the property with wildflowers growing in between the pavers the garden is a reflection of Deborah’s desire to bring joy into her family’s lives. Deborah describes her garden as “a really good friend”.

You’ll also find a delightful selection of garden related books on display at Redbank available for sale from the local Martinborough Bookshop.