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private garden

A' La Fois

31 Coatesville Heights, Coatesville


The gardens start at the road with an easy stroll down a formed concrete drive. There are many areas to enjoy for all levels of fitness. For the not so mobile persons. There is seating all around the house and a deck overlooking the pond. More seating in the gorgeous courtyard for you to enjoy. 

Every attempt has been made to use the existing landform. Judicious plantings of natives and exotics have been chosen for their form and foliage to create pleasing and interesting vistas.

The garden has interest all year round with many tropical vireya's and large drifts of colourful Australian grevillea as ground covers on banks.

As gardens are a moving landscape there have been changes to planting and hard landscaping continuously over the years. There several large interesting pieces of garden art to be enjoyed.


The Gardener

Author Julian Mathews wrote in the New Zealand  Gardener.

Margaretha and Terry work hard to ensure their garden is always immaculate. 

They love having visitors to the garden to enjoy the beauty that Terry and Margaretha have created.  


As a young policeman, Terry was exposed to smoke that contained asbestos. This was at Mt Eden prison during the prison riot in May 1965. He was such a strong healthy lovely man whom everyone loved for his witty garden tours. Terry passed away 5th November 2018, Sadly missed.

Garden Size

A six-acre block, that in 1999 was covered in gorse and scrub. This has given Margaretha and Terry plenty of room to garden. Several natural bush tracks are still under development.

Other Facilities

A' La Fois is 7 minutes from Albany Village and 10 minutes from vineyards at Kumeu.

The historic Riverhead Hotel is a 7-minute drive.


  • Price
    $20 per person.
  • Parking
    On-street parking for buses, coaches and cars. It is a no-exit street and on-road parking is safe.
  • Wheelchair Access
    Most of the garden is wheelchair friendly.
  • Dogs allowed?
    No dogs allowed.
  • Children allowed?
    Only over the age of 14 as there are large ponds.
  • Toilets?
  • Seating
    All around the gardens.
  • Plants/Sales
    Plants for sale. A variety of plants propagated by Margaretha.
  • Guided Tours
    Guided tour for groups. These take about 1 to 1.30 hours. These are now taken by Margaretha. I am nowhere near as hilarious as Terry was but can tell you the antics he used to get up to take our visitors around the gardens


31 Coatesville Heights, Coatesville

Up the Albany hill from Albany village. Left hand turn into Coatesville Riverhead Highway. Turn left at the pony club into Glenmore road. We are first turn right Coatesville Heights.