Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Oruawharo - a Garden Restoration in New Zealand

Images from the Oruawharo website
In central Hawke's Bay on the North Island of New Zealand's stands Oruawharo.  According to Oruawharo website, the house which was completed in 1879 was designed by a Wellington architect and built by D McLeoud of Waipukurau at a cost of some £4000 for Sydney Johnston and his bride Sophia Lambert. And surrounding the house were 17 hectares, (40 acres) of gardens and parkland laid out by Johnston who replicated the landscapes he had seen around stately English homes, and who as a keen tree-lover, planted thousands of trees.

In 2000 Peter and Dianne Harris purchased Oruawharo, which was suffering from 30 years of neglect.  As well as bringing the house back to life Peter and Dianne have embarked on a restoration of the grounds with the aim of returning them to their early splendour.  Cleared of undergrowth the hillside woodland once again reveals numerous fine trees specimens while nearer the house the croquet lawn is once more smooth and verdant and surrounded by gardens.  In the fields opposite is the large vegetable garden next to which are new additions - citrus and olive groves, a vineyard and oaks and hazelnuts for a truffiere.

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