”Arden” 5 Amos Lane

The entrance to Arden is near the top of a winding country lane. The two acre garden, formerly part of a larger estate, has had only two previous owners and there have been two major planting sprees in the 1930s and 1970s. Trees and bulbs abound. There are some truly magnificent specimans, a favourite of mine being the variegated tulip tree, one of the finest you will see.

There are maples, magnolias, ash, dogwoods, nyssas, liquidambars, Himalayan cedars, not to mention the 40 metre high Radiata pines which protect us from the west and provide a benign micro climate enabling us to grow a wide variety of plants on the rich volcanic soil.

Having been in the nursery industry for 30 years, during which time I observed with chagrin what a limited number of species the public chose for their gardens, my aim at Arden is to open people’s eyes to the wide range of rare and wonderful plants that are available.

Chooks, ducks and vegies have been introduced, the chook pen being rather glamourous and always causing amusement among the men folk. Cats, chemicals and whippersnippers are banned. We are experimenting with native plants in a wild area at the front gate. Providing small birds with protection from predators is always a consideration. ( We have 12 birdbaths).
Uninteresting shrubs are gradually being replaced with botanical beauties which offer interest throughout the year.
In short, we are aiming for an environmentally sound horticultural zoo without spoiling the elegance of the original design.
Come and see how we’re going.

David and Suzy Dowsett