Our gardens in the glossies

NZ Gardener magazine – the country’s top-selling gardening magazine since 1944, according to its website – has a Tauranga garden featured in this month’s issue (March) and will have a garden in the Katikati area in the April issue.

This month’s magazine visits the Matua garden of Heather Loughlin, who has created an unusual – and highly successful – woodland garden on one side of her home. It features a canopy of silver birches that move into nikau palms, underplanted with Japanese maples, hostas, pulmonaraias, hellebores and ferns and including basins of water (read more about the full-moon maple).

A full-moon maple (Acer japonicum Aconitifolium) in Heather Loughlin’s garden. This tree is noted for its beautiful autumn colour.

Heather and Francis Young spent 30 years living and working in Illinois in the United States and have planted a large number of North American native trees and shrubs in their large harbourside garden, south of Katikati.

But that’s not all – this is an organic garden run on sustainable lines. There are fruit trees, an enormous potager surrounded by a colonial-style fence, New Zealand and Australian natives, bulbs and roses.

One of the gateways into the large potager in the Young garden.

Amid all the writers and sessions on offer at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival in May there is one that’s aimed at gardeners – and it’s a free event.

The Good Life is a discussion between Lynda Hallinan (editor-at-large for NZ Gardener and author of Back to the Land), Tony Murrell (landscape designer and host of Radio Live’s weekly The Home and Garden Show) and Janet Luke (landscape architect and author of Green Urban Living).

The programme says the discussion will ask what’s given rise to the trend to feed ourselves from the back yard, and is it viable?

The Good Life is on Sunday, May 19, from 11.30am at the Aotea Centre. (These details have been added to the Events page.)

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