Tarata is a two-hectare woodland style garden named after the Lemonwoods (Tarata) that owners Grant and Adrienne planted for shelter when they first arrived, 27 years ago.
Attracted to the property by a hectare of remnant Totara forest, these novice gardeners set about planning and planting. Their vision was to create a garden to provide fuel for the body, mind and soul.
139 Tararua Drive
Today the garden boasts young and mature native trees including Totara, Puriri, Kowhai, Titoki, Kanuka and Matai. Underplanting of 100+ Red Matipo (Mapoua) was completed recently to cope with increasingly drier conditions.
You’ll also find deciduous trees in this garden, including eight species of Oak.
Tarata is full of surprises – a mini tea ‘plantation’ of Camellia sinensis is expected to produce its first brew next year, a colourful wildflower bed bordered by a rustic totara fence, an orange grove, caged berry gardens, meandering forest paths, rhododendrons, Japanese maples, flowering dogwoods and an area where a mass planting of 400 Gossamer grasses echo the wind (a new development since opening on the 2019 tour).
Near the house you’ll find more formal garden beds with a classical fountain drawing the eye through an avenue of ornamental cherry trees.
Expect to see flowers and edibles, a glass house, cute garden shed, chooks and beehives, and an outdoor eating area complete with pizza oven and open fireplace, framed by windows of Boston ivy.
Since 2019, Grant has also managed to rid the garden of bunnies by completing his rabbit proof fence around the garden perimeter.
Allow plenty of time to visit Tarata – there is a lot to explore. BYO picnics are welcome.
Refreshments will be available in the garden, courtesy of Anderson St Kitchen.
*Photos by Paul McCredie