- Established Garden
- Flower Garden
- Cottage Garden
- Vegetable Garden
In 1992 Kerry and her husband purchased a small house on 1.12 hectares in Brightwater. It was a dream come true for Kerry, a keen rider at the time - she could have her horse in the paddock, and space for a big garden.
The garden evolved around bringing up their two boys, with every spare moment spent outside, planning and planting. “The boundary fence was shifted out about four times to its final position... or maybe five!” recalls Kerry.
Comprised of various zones, linked by meandering paths, this is a garden to be explored, offering something new around every corner. From the cherry tree garden with under-plantings of hydrangeas, day lilies and perennials, to the pond garden framed with forest pansies. Around the corner claret ash and kowhai trees provide a canopy for the woodland garden, which is full of foxgloves and aquilegias in spring.
“ I think having a garden that doesn’t reveal itself all at once makes you slow down and just be in the moment. I walk around it every morning, just seeing what is flowering or changing …it's my happy place.”
The largest garden areas are planted with 70% perennials and 30% shrubs. The perennials are a mixture of dahlias, salvias, penstemons, hydrangeas, grasses and roses - with the constant addition of ‘little treasures’ that Kerry always finds a place for.
There’s a productive vegetable garden, and a recently built tunnel house that enables a longer growing season, especially for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and passionfruit.
Kerry has also become an expert at propagating plants. What started as a way of filling gaps in her own garden has developed into a full-blown nursery, called 'The Little Shed' - a treasure chest full of hard-to-find cottage perennials for sale. Be sure to bring some cash with you… and a boot liner! :-)
Kerry loves all aspects of gardening, especially the process of growing plants from seed and reaping the rewards of seasonal cut flowers, and fresh vegetables for the family.
Kerry has a keen interest in garden design – with an emphasis on creating beautiful, abundant and relaxing spaces to explore and enjoy.
These days, with climate change effecting our weather patterns, Kerry is adapting her gardening practice to be as sustainable as possible, and planting to the conditions. “The drought and fire of 2019, when we had to evacuate for two weeks, was a dramatic reminder that mother nature is the boss and you have to work with her!”
In recent years she has become a convert of Charles Dowding’s ‘no dig’ approach, which she describes as “a revelation - it makes total sense”. On her bucket list is a visit to Jimi Blake’s Hunting Brook garden in Ireland, and Beth Chatto’s garden…one day!
I try to make my garden as organic as possible by making compost, mulching, companion planting and recycling - and the rewards are in the food I can grow and the beauty I can enjoy from my garden. If I can pass this on to other generations then I think this is a great legacy.
With this warm weather and no sign of frosts yet there is still a lot of colour in the garden, with dahlia, salvias, chrysanthemums and rosés flowering there hearts out. The grass Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ is putting on a great show with its plumes of cream pink, such a great texture plant. Even the veggie garden is still producing zucchini, lettuces and we are still enjoying raspberries!
.The ‘Little Shed garden nursery’ has lots of lovey perennials for sale, all propagated from my garden. So you can see the plant growing in the garden which gives you an idea of what situations they will grow well in and also what size they get to. I also have a small selection of hydrangeas and deciduous shrubs, all looking for new homes.
Kerry's garden is full of inspiration for planting schemes and spacial design... and her nursery is amazing. Such a great selection of hard-to-find perennials.- Jane
What a fabulous afternoon we had with Kerry while she showed us her beautiful garden. So much time and love has gone into getting it where it is today. Having the added bonus of being able to purchase plants from her little shop was great. Thanks Kerry, I'll definitely be telling people about your garden.- Debbie