This beautifully structured New Plymouth garden is a testament to the family who have been transforming it into their ultimate outdoor vision since the 1980s
Structure and beauty in a New Plymouth garden
If walls could talk, her Taranaki house could tell a story or two, reckons Chris McCallum. Built over 90 years ago, the Arts and Crafts house was once part of a farm that supplied produce to New Plymouth Boys’ High School and later became a hostel for boarding pupils. “Over the years, we have had the occasional knock on the door from past boarders wishing to reacquaint themselves with their memories and also teachers (whose parties were said to be legendary),” she laughs.
When Chris and husband Bill bought the property in the late 1980s, the house had been extensively renovated and the large cottage-style garden with its swimming pool was already well established. However, many of the trees had grown too big and the couple were keen to create a better connection between house and garden. Despite the fact they both had full-on careers and an active young family, they gradually began to transform the garden, adding structure and creating outdoor spaces for the whole family to enjoy, including a fabulous outdoor chessboard. “In those days, I only dabbled with landscaping and gardening,” says Chris modestly, but her verdant, cleverly laid out garden says the opposite, revealing the hand of a skilled designer and plantswoman.
Words by: Carol Bucknell. Photography by: Jane Dove Juneau.