The Garden at French Farm

Photos

The Garden

The garden is nestled in the historic French Farm Valley on the banks of the Te Waimangu Stream.

Once part of a large sheep and cattle farm the garden is testament to the resilience of native bush and the speed at which it can regenerate once the stock is removed.

In 2003 two stands of bush in the garden were protected in perpetuity by QE11 Covenants.

The bush contains many fine examples of a variety of native trees including kahikatea, totara, matai and some huge kowhai but a feature is a mature pokaka which is listed as a Notable Tree of NZ.

Established by artist Nancy Tichborne and her husband Bryan the garden is designated a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.

It contains dramatic herbaceous borders forming a natural colourful amphitheatre full of tulips, irises, daylillies and dahlias depending on the season. The intention of the planting is to tie the ornamental garden into the wider landscape with its magnificent backdrop of native bush and surrounding hills.

Paths meander through the garden and there are several streamside bush walks with many glades and dells that provide perfect spaces to relax and enjoy the birdsong.

View Map

The Gardener

The garden is now under the care of new owners Jendy and Pat Brooks who have made the move to Banks Peninsula from North Otago. Passionate gardeners they are relishing the challenge of taking on the care and development of this beautiful property.

Map

Garden Details

Address
104 French Farm Valley Road RD 2 Akaroa 7582. An hour and a bit’s drive from Christchurch. And 15 minutes from the delightful seaside town of Akaroa.
Email
jendy.brooks@gmail.com
Phone
64 03 304 5678 or 021 305 216
Fax
64 03 304 5708
Contact Person
Jendy Brooks
Hours
We are open most days but a phone call or email first would be appreciated.
Garden Size
A four hectare property (eleven acres).
Price
A charge of $10 per head for unguided individuals/small groups. $15 per head for groups (minimum 10, maximum 30).
Brochure Available?
Yes
Parking
Yes
Toilets
Yes
Food Available
Plenty of good cafes & restaurants in nearby Akaroa plus the Hilltop Tavern & Little River Cafe & Gallery on the way back towards Christchurch are both well worth a visit.
Seating
Yes. There are several areas suitable for picnics and general 'rest and recuperation'.
Picnics
Yes please feel free to bring your own picnic.
Wheelchair Access
Limited areas
Dogs Allowed
Strictly on a leash.
Children Allowed
Free - but must be well supervised.
Accommodation
No but plenty nearby
Weddings
Feel free to get in touch.
Plants/Other Sales
We have a shop called "The Potting Shed" full of beautiful things which is open most days.
Guided Tours
Yes
Function Center Available?
No
Other Facilities
There is a wealth of wildlife on the property... Bird life includes bellbirds, kereru (native pigeons), fantails, kingfishers, pukeko, grey warblers, harrier hawks, shining cuckoos, mallard ducks, Paradise shelducks, shags, grey herons, Californian quail etc.

We are 40 minutes from another Banks Peninsula 'Significant Garden' - the Fisherman's Bay Garden owned by Jill & Richard Simpson.