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, 25 years ago.  

Attracted to the property by a hectare of remnant Totara forest, the couple set about developing a garden on the surrounding bare paddock.

Protecting the remnant forest was a priority. Today visitors can explore the Totara forest via meandering paths and garden surprises.

139 Tararua Drive 

Bus friendlySales availableRefreshmentsToilet available

Near the house you’ll find more formal garden beds with a fountain at the end of an avenue of ornamental cherry trees. The sound of the ever-cascading water is, “like always having company in the garden,” says Adrienne.

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Adrienne says she is often reminded of the family and friends who have given cuttings – providing fond connections and memories. Her vegetable garden particularly gives her pleasure.

Trees are Grant’s focus and hundreds of varieties have been planted – including Japanese maples, flowering dogwoods, rhododendrons, oaks, fruit and nut trees and many NZ natives. He also likes to potter about creating structure in the garden: paths, seats, lookouts and installing sculptures.

Together, Adrienne and Grant are still developing their vision: a garden that provides fuel for the body, for the fire and for the soul.

Since an earlier tour, Tarata has gained new features including a berry cage and a NZ native walk. A new development, where a stand of wattles has been harvested for firewood, is just underway. 

Expect to see flowers and edibles, a glass house plus cute garden shed, chooks and beehives, a tea garden, and an outdoor eating area complete with pizza oven and open fireplace, framed by windows of Boston ivy.

Allow plenty of time to visit Tarata – there is a lot to explore. BYO picnics are welcome.

Refreshments will be available at Tarata, courtesy of the Friends of Opaki School.