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Governor's Bay, Canterbury

Ranked as one of New Zealand's best formal gardens Ohinetahi will not disappoint. As with some of the most famous formal gardens Ohinetahi uses 'rooms' to great effect, quite distinct areas opening off the well defined axes that run through the garden. As at Hidcote in England, the use of hedges provides shelter from quite strong and persistent winds and makes it possible to grow plants that, otherwise, would struggle.

Sir Miles Warren and his wonderful garden, Ohinetahi

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Hatfield House
Garden Review of Hatfield House - a formal garden that draws on a fascinating history of some 500 years of gardening.

The atmosphere is definitely French - deep green hedge, robinias casting shade over a table and chairs. Definitely inviting!

This is a garden where years of work have created a garden that looks as if it was always there, and as if everything grows with ease. However the cold wind which can sweep up Lyttleton Harbour, and steep site required extensive plantings to create shelter and there ws much levelling and work when the garden was first established.

Sir Miles Warren, one of New Zealand's foremost architects, is the creator of Ohinetahi, originally with his sister and her husband, Pauline and John Trengrove. Since the mid-1990's Sir Miles has gardened here alone and Ohinetahi demonstrates his love of structure and of modern art.

The calm oasis formed by the central lawn unfies this large garden, forming a quiet, green space in front of the main fašade of the house with its arched colonial verandas.

At one end of the lawn is an Oamaru stonewall which supports the swimming pool, at the other the curve of a dense and perfectly clipped macrocarpa (Cupressus macrocarpa) hedge with a pair of golden leaved robinia (Robinia psuedoacaia 'Frisia') making a wonderful contrast.

Behind the hedge a pair of Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) gives additional emphasis to the formality and importance of the curved hedge.
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The information here is believed to be correct but changes do occur. There may be closures and changes to times of opening. Entrance fees may vary without notice. cannot take any responsibility for any errors, changes or omissions. Visitors travelling a distance to visit a garden are advised to check opening times with the owners before setting out.

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Last revised 17 Feb '09