- Hawkes Bay
- Established Garden
- NZ Native Garden
- Sub Tropical
Sue is the first to admit that she hasn’t set out to create a ‘pretty’ garden. “I’ve focused on planting interesting and different plants, working with texture and colour, and creating spaces to enjoy and live in.”
As you walk through Sue’s garden you’ll discover different rooms and areas – a sunny morning porch, a sub-tropical walk, herb garden, a dry hot bank, the games lawn, a native track, the afternoon dining area, with garden sculptures strategically placed, and large established trees providing structure and drama.
A word of advice for the visitor – bring a notebook! I guarantee that even the most experienced gardener will discover an unfamiliar and intriguing plant in Sue’s garden. Her fascinating collection includes a cussonia tree, miscanthus grasses, a huge variety of succulents, aspleniums and ferns, including stag horn ferns, puka, oi oi, bromeliads, birds of paradise, air plants and (my personal favourite) a prickly-trunked chorisia-silk floss tree.
But it’s not just the range of native and exotic plants that will impress – as an established floral artist, Sue has brought her creative ‘florist’s’ eye to designing, layering and juxtaposing these plants that are, in effect, the median for her art practice.
“My garden grows food for the soul, rather than food to eat. Each year it brings me more joy as I grow more and different plants, learn what grows well and what doesn’t, what brings more wildlife, what shapes, textures and forms the garden grows in, what ideas for floral art I can draw from it next. “
Sue is looking forward to sharing her thirty years of knowledge and achievements in her garden, and inspiring others to bring their own vision to life.
Sue and her husband Hamish have lived in their home for thirty years and raised three children there.
While the children were young, Sue worked at a plant nursery for seven years, spending her time propagating, giving customer advice, as well as building up her own knowledge ... and her plant collection.
During this time, Sue started advising others on landscape design, helping to shape a number of gardens across Hawkes Bay. “It’s a great joy to help someone envisage their garden, give advice that suits them and their lifestyle and then see it come to life.”
Alongside gardening, Sue’s other passion is floral art. A long-time member and past president of the local Floral Art group, she has presented numerous demonstrations and workshops, and designed flowers for many events and weddings – including a recent wedding in Umbria, Italy, which took place in a 14th century villa.
In her floristry practice, Sue loves pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved with foliage and natural products. She enjoys applying the floral art principles of balance, form, texture, colour and proportion in her garden, and in turn taking inspiration from her garden for her floral designs.
In 2020 Sue attended the World Floral Art conference in India “..which just blew my mind! What an extraordinary country, so much colour everywhere. Beautiful people and vibrant flowers.”
Sue has so much passion and knowledge to share. Keep an eye out for her future workshops on all aspects of floral art, propagation, plant identification and garden design.
My garden grows food for the soul, rather than food to eat.
Summer - cool shade from the ornamental grape vine over our al fresco area and in the subtropical walkways. Delicious fragrance from Star jasmine. Bold broad leaf foliage of cannas and alocasia
Autumn - Stunning autumnal colours from the Virginia creeper, maples, gingko and ornamental grape vine.
Winter -Frosty crisp lawns, skeletal tree branches., magnolia'Vulcan' and the Daphne fragrance is welcome. Splashes of orange and red of clivia
Spring - gorgeous frothy pale pink blossom of the cherry blossom trees, fresh lime green foliage of maples and the bright ruby red Cercis 'Forest Pansy" foliage Throughout the year there is constant birdsong from native and introduced species- tui, koromiko, kotare, piwakawaka, blackbirds and thrushes and many more. Watching some of them them nesting and splashing in the birdbath is a highlight.
I intend to expand my selection of plants propagated from the garden to sell
Sue's garden is full of constant surprises of creativity. Clever combinations of plants and structures. Wherever you look you see something new that you didn't see before. Love it- Diana, Taradale
Really enjoy the variety and blend of plants. Tropical, native and rambling plants everywhere. Feels like very chilled out place to be in.- Bruce, Hastings
We had a very enjoyable visit at Sue’s secret garden. Sue was very knowledgeable and her garden was absolutely beautiful. Our experience was 5 out of 5!- Jane
Loved every minute of the visit - Sue is justifiably proud of her beautiful garden - textured garden is aptly named.- Trevor