Set beneath the Wither Hills, yet surrounded in native bush, you would be forgiven for thinking you weren’t in a Blenheim backyard.

The Marlborough Sounds, maybe, but not Blenheim.

But this garden, Moritaki, is the result of years of work by WK director Peter Forrest and his wife Andrea, and has become a regular feature of Garden Marlborough.

When the couple bought their home in the 1990s, the dream was always to establish a native garden on the then empty section.

“It was just bare earth really, it was a bit of a paddock when we bought the house,” Andrea says.

With help from a Japanese friend, they established a plan for the garden complete with mountains and a waterfall, a stream and a pond, reflecting life’s natural water cycle.

“He told us what height to plant where and left the planting to us,” she says.

Andrea and Peter have spent much of their spare time planting and maintaining the garden ever since.

It’s now home to Nikau, Rimu, Kauri and Flax, to name just a few, not to mention many native birds.

“The only non-natives are plants we’ve had over the years to mark occasions, and lilies, we had lilies [growing up] at home in Koromiko, so things which have sentimental significance,” Peter says.

Growing up in Koromiko started Peter’s gardening journey, however on a much smaller scale growing vegetables for he and his family. Andrea inherited her love of gardening from her mother.

The couple have had their garden on show in Garden Marlborough events for almost 15 years.

“It is hard work leading up to it to get it tidy … but it’s about meeting the people, it’s a great community weekend,” Andrea says.

“The guests are all interested in gardens and this is a bit of a different garden,” Peter adds.

Moritaki will be a part of the Urban Tour of Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough 2018, which runs from November 8 to 11.

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