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private garden

Ohinetahi

Governors Bay RD1, Lyttelton. Christchurch

Overview

Ohinetahi is in a small bay with fine views down the length of Lyttelton Harbor and up to the surrounding hills.
A garden was first made on this site in 1865 by T.H.Potts, New Zealand's first botanist. Potts planted a great variety of exotic trees and shrubs, many of which still stand on the perimeter of the garden. He died in 1888 and thereafter the garden fell into disrepair until it consisted of little more than a lawn around the house.

Sir Miles Warren and Mr and Mrs Trengrove restored the house and began the present garden in 1977. Designed by two architects and an artist, the garden inevitably has a strong frame. The formal garden consists of several separate garden rooms of differing style and character arranged about two axes, one running east-west and another north-south.


On the side of the house, there is a formal lawn with curved macrocarpa hedges at the end balanced by a pool and pool house at the opposite end. There is a rose garden enclosed in box hedges, traditional double herbaceous borders leading to a gazebo, a square walled garden planted in colours of red and green, and a walk of pleached hornbeams on stilts leading up to an oval lawn encircled with a hornbeam hedge.

Beyond the poolhouse, a potager garden is arranged about a large marble capital and a glasshouse. From the oval and the gazebo, steps lead down to a woodland garden shaded by Pott's original trees with a stream flowing down to the harbour. It is densely planted with rhododendrons, camellias and a good variety of New Zealand native plants. A swing bridge extends the cross axis to a bushwalk.

The garden is accented by architectural fragments and modern sculpture.

The Gardener

A garden was first made on this site in 1865 by T.H.Potts, New Zealand's first botanist. Potts planted a great variety of exotic trees and shrubs, many of which still stand on the perimeter of the garden. He died in 1888 and thereafter the garden fell into disrepair until it consisted of little more than a lawn around the house. Sir Miles Warren and Mr and Mrs Trengrove restored the house and began the present garden in 1977. Sir Miles along with a team of great people, nows runs the garden. Speaking to me once he commented that one of the true pleasures of running Ohinetahi was the interaction with people, with whom he could have a plant conversation, especially international visitors.

Garden Size

Large county garden/allow 1-1.5 hours.

Other Facilities

Check this site for other gardens in the area to visit.

Info

  • Price
    $15 per person.
  • Parking
    Both on and off-street parking for buses coaches and cars.
  • Wheelchair Access
    Access is limited to the flat areas around the main house, not all areas are accessible.
  • Dogs allowed?
    No dogs please.
  • Food available?
    By arrangement.
  • Picnics
    Yes, picnic spots with hot/cold water available.
  • Children allowed?
    Yes but please supervise at all times.
  • Toilets?
    Yes.
  • Seating
    Yes, there are areas around the grounds to sit and relax.
  • Guided Tours
    Yes by arrangement, please ask for price.
  • Weddings

    Weddings and photos by arrangement.

Map

Governors Bay RD1, Lyttelton. Christchurch

From CHC take Colombo St over Dyers Pass Rd to Governors Bay, continue on main road 1.5 k past hotel. Garden is on left