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Gardens Open Wilson's Mill Garden
Ohoka, Canterbury


Wilson's Mill is a large landscape garden, one of a very few formal landscape gardens in New Zealand. There are wonderful clear vistas, avenues and even a decent sized lake (complete with a classical lady and a row boat).

Wilsons Mill - The Avenue
From the end of the avenue, you can catch sight of the house and lake

Wilsons Mill - borders
Massed lavender and yellow roses show Ann Izard's eye for colour


Contact details for Wilsons Mill Garden (Groups welcome - appointment by fax)

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The lake, Wilsons Mill
The lake, strewn with water lilies, boasts a row-boat

Wilson's Mill Garden began in 1987, by Alan and Ann Izard, and covers 7.25 hectares (16 acres). The garden today is the result of the team effort of previous owners Alan and Ann Izard, followed by Rob and Dorothy Brown and current owner Tony Williams who purchased the property in 2007. Originally a flax mill, the flax has been replaced by deer and cattle in adjacent paddocks.

An understanding of design and scale and an ability to visualize are evident in the planning of the garden, which has evolved since the house was built and then the major elements of the design put into place.

The Izard's love of trees is evident throughout the garden. There are long avenues and large scale planting of woodland trees, planted for enjoyment over many years.

From the extensive borders and under-planting a love of colour comes through in the great sweeps of hostas, lavender and demonstrates the clear benefits of mass planting - the borders catch your eye and draw you through the various walks.

You enter the garden from a courtyard planted with an interesting range of shrubs and trees, and then proceed towards the lake down a striking avenue of hybrid cabbage trees (Cordyline australis x indivisa). The use of cabbage trees, a tree which is normally seen dotted on coastlines, in farm paddocks or in the bush, in a formal avenue tells you that this is no ordinary garden.

Reaching the lake you look across its lily-clad waters to a long avenue of Tasman poplars ending in a raised mound (the 'loading-ramp', Ann jokingly calls it). The mound is home to an interesting sculpture, Alan's work, which reminds us of the area's agricultural heritage. From the top of the mound there is a lovely view back, across the lake, to the architecturally designed house.
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Last revised 10 Dec '00