Autumn Open Days - see homepage for details

Villaleigh - The Garden

Villaleigh - The Garden

The Garden began as scratchings on paper in 2007 when the chance to purchase 4 acres of bare land was presented to us.  Once ownership was ours the digger was in to carve out a driveway and clear the site for the shed and house, the initial planting began not long after the digger had left the property.

We are blessed with ample topsoil and subsoil before hitting the clay ,or in some parts of the garden, limestone.

Planting of a shelter belt of mixed natives was one of the first jobs on the list to help filter the westerly and southerly winds that are most prevalent for us here.  Specimen trees such as Fraxinus angustifolia  (Claret Ash), Zelkova serrata, Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' (Copper Beech), Quercus palustris (Pin Oak), Ginkgo biloba, Pyrus calleryana 'Kea', Hovenia dulcis (Japanese Raisin Tree) and numerous Apple, Peach, Plum, Pear, Quince and nut trees were placed around the property.

Hose pipes were dragged across the newly flattened area in front of the house pad to help us visualize the garden beds and the design of the front lawn and front gardens began to take shape and at the same time the bank that ran the length of the driveway was being planted up with numerous ground cover type plants.  

Many mistakes were made with these initial plantings, I was on a step learning curve with lots to learn.

Over the years since then the digger has been back numerous times to create new gardens and to help re-create new ones.  The garden continues to evolve and change as new plants are added or plantings are rearranged.   This garden will never be stagnant, there are just too many new plant families to discover and learn about.  If a part of the garden is not performing then it is time for a revamp and some major editing to take place.

Now the garden/nursery is approximately 3 acres in size, existing across numerous levels with an ever-expanding collection of plants being added to.  I love exploring the use of colour, texture and form when planting and have learnt a lot about respecting the growing needs of each plant - 'right plant-right place'.

Perennial Helenium Flower

Planning a visit

The garden and nursery is located in rural Waikato, New Zealand and is open to visitors (bookings essential) year round.  PLEASE NOTE:  This year the garden will be closed from April 15th until the end of September 2024 while it undergoes some landscaping work with heavy machinery.  Look forward to inviting you back here from October 2024 onwards! 

For further information please see the 'Contact' page.


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