- Bay of Plenty
- Cottage Garden
- Flower Garden
It’s hard to believe that as recently as 2019, this Papamoa garden consisted of little more than a few palms and a couple of established hibiscuses.
Shortly after moving in, Jenny drew up the plans for her new garden and began the transformation. The 200sqm backyard was divided into five distinct garden rooms. A redundant deck provided materials for the raised beds, which she built herself. The Kikuyu lawn was removed, and five cubic metres of good quality topsoil brought in to fill the raised beds and create an undulating central garden area.
Though the overall design of the garden is quite formal, Jenny takes a relaxed approach to planting. “Once I took care of the structural elements, my heart took over. I’ve planted whatever takes my fancy – some are gifts or cuttings from friends, some plants find their own way here, turning up on the wind – so it’s ended up with an unexpected cottagey feel!”
Today she describes her garden as “full and luscious”, a treasure trove of nostalgic perennials, annuals and old-fashioned roses, under a strategically planted canopy of cherry trees, Cercis Canadensis, Malus Gorgeous and Japanese Maple Bloodgood.
The charcoal-painted fences and raised beds provide a stylish and understated backdrop to this fascinating collection of plants that climb, clump and spill over, in abundance. From the house, the viewer enjoys a different vignette from every window.
The clue to Jenny’s favourite part of the garden can be found in her recent watercolours - her collection of stunning Higo irises (aka. dinner plate irises), that produce successive voluptuous blossoms for two months, in this sheltered, hidden oasis.
Jenny still carries vivid memories of her grandparents’ abundant Dunedin garden that provided food and flowers for the extended family.
Her career was as an architectural illustrator, but over the past twenty years Jenny has made her name both here and across the Tasman as an accomplished watercolourist and oil painter, specialising in traditional Flemish oil painting technique.
These days, her art practice and love of gardening are intrinsically linked, and the allocation of time in the garden versus time in the studio is a constant balancing act.
Jenny has an infectious passion for gardening, and for the beauty and spirit of plants. She gets a huge amount of satisfaction from having a positive impact on her slice of paradise - improving the soil, increasing biodiversity, and providing a haven for birds and insects.
My advice for beginner gardeners is to gather as much information as you can from your local area. Explore and observe, ask questions at garden centres, and connect with other gardeners in your neighbourhood.
Sweet peas are at their peak and some are over. However H. Annabelle’s are coming into blissful balls of softest green with H. Limelight a little way behind. Roses are recouping energy after first flush and will be onto their next performance by mid January.
Martagon lilies are now at 2m and forming buds. Lots of colour and form changing monthly.
There will be H.variegata Mariesii plants ready early February.
Please feel free to enquire about mini workshops on subjects that you want hands on discussion. I’m imagining time frames of an hour’s demonstration or discussion with instruction notes. This would be based on the way I garden, not perhaps the only way 😊
Jenny’s garden is a true urban oasis. Her planning and skill as a gardener has produced an amazingly ‘large’ and floriferous garden in quite a small space. It is a continual well-tended delight.- Tony, Papamoa
Thank you Jenny for sharing your garden… we had a fabulous impromptu rainy Saturday afternoon treat and left feeling recharged and inspired, after strolling around your gorgeous garden.- Peggy, Matua Garden Group
One can’t express in a few words, the magic of visiting Jenny's Papamoa Secret Garden. I highly recommend a visit and see for yourself. You will be captivated from the moment you step through her side gate and fall into the spell of the fragrances, visual delights and more.- Jo, Taurange
A really enjoyable morning visit. Parkwood Garden is a beautiful small garden, well designed, lovely planting, great variety of interesting plants. Jenny was a welcoming host, knowledgeable about the plants, shared her ideas & experiences. A privilege to visit this garden.- Wendy, Rotorua