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5 Star Garden experience awaits in Northland


5 Star Garden experience awaits in Northland

The garden at the KeriKeri Mission Station.

Gardens at two of New Zealand’s premier heritage places have been rated as 5 Star by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.

The prestigious 5 Star ranking identifies the gardens at the Kerikeri Mission Station and Pompallier Mission in Russell as being of National Significance. Both of these Bay of Islands heritage destinations are cared for by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).

“We’re delighted that the two gardens have received this level of recognition from the New Zealand Gardens Trust,” says the NZHPT’s Heritage Destinations Manager Northern, Natalie McCondach.

“It’s a real tribute to the hard work done by our property managers, our gardeners, and our wonderful teams of volunteers.”

The garden at the Kerikeri Mission Station is the earliest surviving cultivated English-styled garden in New Zealand, and has been continuously tended for almost 200 years.

The first time a plough was ever used in New Zealand was on this site by missionary Rev John Butler in May, 1820. The land around Kemp House and the Stone Store was vital for ensuring supplies of fresh food for the missionaries in and around Kerikeri.

Pompallier Mission’s garden was first established by the Greenway family in the 1880s.

With its borders planted to overflowing in a riot of colour – and its plants allowed to self-seed – the garden follows a gardening style known as ‘promiscuous’ and is very different from the fashionably rigid geometry usual in the Victorian era.

“Each of the gardens is a draw-card for visitors in its own right. They are very different from each other, with the fascinating heritage buildings and compelling storytelling adding more layers of history for our visitors to enjoy,” says Natalie.

“At the Kerikeri Mission Station we have developed a new self-guided garden tour which is soon to be made available to visitors, and is likely to be very popular as it will bring the garden to life, telling stories of the people who have shaped the garden over time, as well as describing rare and unusual plants, and our heritage roses.

“Our visitor hosts at Pompallier Mission share information and stories about the garden there as part of the guided tours and we can do pre-booked garden tours for groups.”

The Kerikeri Mission Station and Pompallier Mission are open daily throughout the year so visitors can see the seasonality of the gardens.


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