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private garden

Upton Oaks Garden

33 Hammerichs Road, Blenheim


The gardens at Upton Oaks have been developed over some years and have been created to harmonise with the style of the 1911 Victorian Villa on a 1.5acre site just outside Blenheim, right in the heart of wine country.

Sues vision was to create a romantic, intimate garden, with formal lines and structures but over flowering within, with an abundance of colour from spring to autumn.

The house, enclosed by trim lawns and borders of shrubs including roses and perennials, is separated from the large 17th-century style knot garden by sharply trimmed hedges. Here the geometrical box hedged beds are filled with flowers, each with a different colour theme, reds, yellows, whites and blues. Twin herbaceous borders lie beyond the Lonicera nitida hedge which backs the knot garden. A pair of standard pittosporums give strength to the carefully planted borders. The very old walnut tree is central to the design of this garden.

A winding path from the borders leads through the Olive Grove to the productive garden where large raised vegetable beds and espaliered fruit trees on brick walls feature. From here, the long vista to the French-styled gazebo draws you to the rear gardens, containing blue and white garden beds and to the relocated and restored 1850's guest cottage, fitly named Laurella Cottage after Dave and Sues daughters, Laura and Ella. To the west of the cottage is a simple, small knot garden and to the east clever use of old bricks, lawn and gravel to make an intimate courtyard within the hornbeam hedges. This is a garden which offers a potpourri for the senses and focal points at every turn.

Upton Oaks garden has graced the pages of numerous magazines plus television screens and is visited by many national and international groups each year and has been recognised as a Garden of National Significance by the NZGT.

The Gardener

Dave & Sue have developed Upton Oaks gardens over some years and though we have no formal training, we both are creative people and have an eye for detail.

Lots of passion led us to create a garden harmonising with our old villa, on what was a very neglected site. Dave specialises in maintaining the lawns and keeping the numerous hedges sharp and defined, while Sue does the design, planting and care of the gardens.

It has been written that 'a pair of romantics live here' and this reflects on the type of garden we have created, a romantic country garden. The garden continues to evolve and mature.

Garden Size

We are a small to medium garden, allow 1 hour for your visit.


For romantic, intimate wedding services please email sue@uptonoaks.co.nz or Ph 03 579 3316. "A private, peaceful garden making for a truly memorable location for your special day". Photo opportunities abound.

Other Facilities

We also run our home-based business Upton Oaks Furniture, a small New Zealand owned and operated company with a client base stretching the length and breadth of the country started back in 1990.

We specialise in making special bespoke pieces of furniture for the home, please go to our website for details:



  • Accommodation
    Laurella Cottage is a luxurious, fully self-contained guest cottage meticulously decorated with a botanical theme throughout. Garden views from every room, the perfect place for a special occasion getaway. Please view and book on www.laurella.co.nz
  • Price
    Adults $15.00, Children free.
  • Parking
    On-street parking for buses coaches and cars.
  • Wheelchair Access
  • Dogs allowed?
    No thank you.
  • Food available?
    Group morning and afternoon teas in the garden, available by prior arrangement.
  • Picnics
    Only by prior arrangement.
  • Children allowed?
    Yes children are welcome but please supervise due to ponds
  • Toilets?
  • Seating
    Many seats throughout the garden.
  • Plants/Sales
    Product sales available, NZ made furniture.
  • Guided Tours
    Yes happy to show visitors through the gardens - personal tour $15 per person.


33 Hammerichs Road, Blenheim