A special place

img_6329 Image: Su Leslie 2019

Last November I visited Taranaki in New Zealand’s North Island for the annual garden festival. Armed with my carefully annotated programme and map, I criss-crossed the provence, visiting an array of private gardens whose owners had kindly opened them to the public for the duration of the festival.

All were beautiful and interesting, but the one that has proved to be the most memorable was neither on my list, nor a private garden.

img_6316 Entrance, Hollard Gardens, Kaponga, Taranaki, NZ. Image: Su Leslie 2019

Hollard Gardens was established in 1927 by the then owners, Bernie and Rose Hollard. While the garden is now owned and managed by the Taranaki Regional Council, “Hollard Gardens is unique in the fact that it is an achievement of almost a lifetime of work by a private individual. It is a plantsman’s garden and a reflection of patience and horticultural skill.” (The History of Hollards)

“Bernie selected his plants based on personal appeal and whether they would fill gaps in his existing collections of species or varieties. The overall design of the garden considered not only the aesthetics, but whether a plant would thrive in its environment.” (The History of Hollards)

The gardens consist of several areas, including a woodland glade, avenues of lawn lined with different rhododendrons, hydrangeas and other flowering shrubs, and a kitchen garden.

It was the kitchen garden that made Hollard so memorable and special for me. It was one of several organic gardens I visited that have been designed according to permaculture principles, but the most accessible and informative.

That the garden is managed by the Regional Council demonstrates an official commitment to sustainable food production which I find refreshing and reassuring.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge | a special spot

Also posted to Friday Flowers

35 thoughts on “A special place

  1. That first one – oh my….. and then all the following beauties! I stand here (sitting) in awe of the beauty you present, while here it’s utterly miserable, grey, wet, cold, windy….. BUT no fires, no damage (except water everywhere) – I still have bad dreams thinking of your scary and yet spectacular shots from the other day. Can’t get it out of my mind – the tragedy, the poor people, the destroyed birds and animals, the land and forests….
    As always, thank you for sharing, the beauty, the good and the bad, your life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s wonderful when you discover a lovely garden like that. We have something similar in the Edwards Gardens in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is the former estate, garden of Rupert Edwards and he created the garden in 1944. He later sold the property to the city of Toronto to become a public park. It is also the site of the Toronto Botanical Garden. It is an enormous expanse of land with water running through it. It has a mature forest bicycle paths, walkways, rose gardens and many other show pieces. There used to be an old grand estate home on the site but that burned down, unfortunately.

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  3. What a wonderful garden Su. Thanks for taking me along as I did enjoy everything. I love the signs that look like covers of old magazines. Amazing what can be achieved organically and with permaculture principles

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Brian. I loved the signs too.
      The whole Taranaki trip was an eye-opener in terms of what people can achieve. One lady I met lives on a very ordinary suburban street, with about 400m2 of land and she grows so much food. — all organically and with the gardens arranged so she can continue to work them as she grows older.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Water is such a big issue and I can’t believe how wasteful we are in this country. I think because we’ve lived on tank water in the past, we are quite careful, but I notice that now we have mains as well, it is easy to slide back into being careless.
          And I guess I don’t really appreciate the wildlife problems; we have rats and possums, but that’s about all in the ‘burbs.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It might be my eyes but you’ve written Holland several times when I think it should be Hollard? All the links go to Hollard. Anyway what’s in a name when the place is so beautiful. A garden I would love 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a beautiful garden and concept! I especially love that flowers were selected for spots regarding where they would thrive, very sensible and from the plants point of view almost empathic.

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