Worth the drive - Gorgeous Country Garden
Helen and Ken Haycock’s property on Kaipaki Road is a garden not to be missed. I visited on an extremely crisp winter morning after a heavy frost and we sat in the sun chatting – overlooking the spacious front lawn and garden. Dominating the entrance is a large 80-year old copper beech – bare of foliage now but will be a sight to behold at the time of the Garden Festival in November.
Ken and Helen have lived at the property for 10 years after moving from 25 acres in the rolling countryside of Coatesville just north of metropolitan Auckland. Two acres had been developed into garden.
Moving to a flat site just out of Cambridge was a dream come true. A mature garden, they have lifted the canopies of the large trees and put in under-planting – hard work battling the huge roots of the well-established trees.
Carefully manicured camellias abound, together with lots of large hydrangeas adding a splash of colour when in full bloom and delightful magnolias. The garden is one where lots of birds gather to feast on the plethora of fruit trees – plums, quince, guava, nashi pears – together with persimmon. The three Red Shaver hens keep the household stocked in eggs.
Although the garden is not truly organic, Ken and Helen use 300 bags of alpaca “poo” each year which boosts the soil nutrients. They are right into recycling, composting and putting everything that came from the soil, back into the soil. The chipper is always on hand and together with grass clippings the mulch is spread on the garden to help with nutrients and minimise the need to water. This is a beautiful, peaceful garden with large mature trees and plantings to admire and enjoy.
Leading up to the Festival Ken and Helen will spend many, many hours preparing the garden for show – and you will not be disappointed. On the day, there will be lots of very rare plants for sale – so come along with cash in your purse to purchase plants which you may not be able to acquire elsewhere.