The White Horse Inn

At The White Horse Inn you’ll find our youngest gardener. An ambitious and passionate plants-woman, Michelle Irons and her handy-husband-with-a-digger Stu, have transformed a flat grassed urban section into an artful arrangement of colourful and productive garden spaces.

102 Bentley St

Bus friendly

Full of nautical references including an anchor (from Waiheke Island), and a life preserver from the Aramoana Cook Strait Ferry, this garden is full of whimsical art and places to explore (especially for the littlest of gardeners).

It’s a team effort, with Michelle guiding the planting, and Stu creating the structure and carving out the spaces.

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For Michelle, her top gardening passion is her extensive collection of irises. Fascinated by their form, she has planted up to 70 irises – of all varieties: bearded, beardless and crested. If you are an iris lover then you’ll appreciate the different forms of the Japanese, Louisiana, Siberian and Tectorum varieties here. It seems fitting that the word Iris comes from the Greek word for rainbow.

But, there’s much more to this garden than irises – explore different types of day lilies amidst wallflowers, tall spires of phlomis (seek out the purple one), and admire the productive vegetable garden. Look for the black nasturtiums surrounding the bean frame too.

A unique feature of The White Horse Inn garden is the way height has been created by mounding up beds (thanks to some fancy digger work). Winding gravel paths steer you around the different parts of the garden, but the domed forms of the ornamental beds cleverly create height and structure and lift the eye. They’re great for water retention too.

In the edible garden find beans, berries and crops of garlic, beetroot, asparagus and horseradish will be on show, along with marshmallow – used for medicinal purposes and in cooking.  

A fun, clever and colourful garden The White Horse Inn is sure to delight and inspire.