The Doctor’s House

The meandering woodland garden belonging to Kathryn Seagrave and Jeremy Thompson was once home to three generations of doctors. The Historic Places Trust house is still connected to the old private hospital through a green door and ivy-clad fence.

It’s a reminder of the property’s connection with its past, as are several listed trees; oaks, a northern cyprus and redwoods that are grand in stature and now protected.


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The land was once owned by Sir Walter Buller – of Buller’s Birds fame. Pairs of kārearea or NZ falcon – our most threatened bird of prey – rest regularly in the tall oak trees and are often seen flying low overhead.

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Kathryn’s domain is her edible garden. In a small space, citrus, grapes and vegetables are interplanted in raised beds with leafy greens and herbs to sustain through the seasons. A 100-year-old plum tree fruits prolifically and is great for jam.

Among the shady woodland areas are bursts of colour from ornamentals – magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons. Complete with swimming pool and tennis court, the garden provides plenty of recreational opportunities.

Kathryn and Jeremy are currently embarking on a transformation of their front garden. When blight took hold of their formal buxus hedges, they saw it as an opportunity to start again. A new design is underway and this will be a unique opportunity to see a garden in transition.