Jill Lloyd remembers well the bare paddock that greeted them when they bought their land in Taupo 12 years ago.
“Nigel has been approached to manage the Wairakei International Golf Course in Taupo and it was our mission to leave behind our gardens and the home Nigel built himself in Inglewood.”
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In fact, I cried all the way to Benniedale, a town on the way to Taupo,” says Jill.
For a while, the Lloyd family lived in a small house on the golf course, all the while looking for land for a new garden. She was very adamant with the land agent, insisting that she needed at least two acres of land with undulating contours.
After a long search, she found a piece of land with old craggy pine trees and thought, “This is it.” When they cleared some of the undergrowth, they realized the place had probably one of the best views in town.
Jill says the hardest part of leaving Taranaki’s wonderful soil was learning to deal with the pumice and poor topsoil in her new garden. In the early days they had to use post-holding diggers to plant trees, spreading copious amounts of mulch from landfills.
Unlike many section developers, one thing Nigel and Jill decided not to do was change the outline of the new garden. “We left the contours as they were. We worked on the land and didn’t even let the bulldozer in.”
So today, when visitors arrive, they find a landscape of gently rolling undulations that has been lovingly manicured.
pretty old pine tree, probably Japanese red pine, guard the entrance. Jill is unsure of her exact parentage, but it was one of the few trees on the property when Lloyds arrived.
A driveway chipped in white limestone and a neatly trimmed boxwood hedge, surrounded by expansive lawns, lead gently to the house.
Jill’s preferred gardening style is evident here as well. Place a few evergreen shrubs in front of your home to make a statement, including rhododendrons, datura, and pruned boxes.
These are grouped behind snow-white hedges, where there are also large groups that spread out. Grevillea ranigellaJill explains that it’s a variety called ‘Mount Tamborissa’ and is characterized by its low ridge habit and dark green foliage.
Except for a group of silver birches (which Nigel thinks should come out after the race), the main grass stretches far.
A forest trail near the entrance is a great attraction for visitors. This is where Jill indulges her love of plants. The path winds and winds between embankments of rhododendrons and ‘Rubicon’ with its red flowers and beautiful foliage is one of his best. Ferns, bearded irises and roses also grow in sunny areas.
Recently, Jill has been planting all kinds of low-growing ferns along the edges, some of which have been collected around the property and others have been purchased.
In this part of the garden, fantails are flying here and there, and so are chuy. It’s so beautiful,” says Jill.
tall Banksia integrifoliaIt was one of the first trees they planted.
When you get out of the forest, the garden changes. The short herbaceous ground cover and small cones of boxwood are the perfect foil for the magnificent pieces of wood that were rescued from a bonfire on my nephew’s farm and used as a rare garden decoration.
Mature specimen of hybrid magnolia The “yellow bird” sits on the lawn nearby. Royce is proud of this little tree. Although it is deciduous, it produces bright yellow goblet-shaped flowers in spring. It’s the perfect little accent tree.
Nearby Jill combines the yellow of magnolia with the white of a paved circle of standard ‘Iceberg’ roses.
Nigel’s majestic steel sculpture of a garden trowel, copied from a photograph once seen in a British gardening magazine, stands at the edge of this lawn.
Nigel spent over a year building this out of an old steel truck deck. Lloyds had to hire a crane to lift it off the road and into the yard.
Aside from Nigel’s trowel, the garden has few other ornaments. The pride of the place is perhaps an ancient sowing machine almost overgrown with angelica and an old plow and cream can nearby as a nod to a bygone agricultural age.
The garden spans 0.8 hectares and it will be quite a walk to get home. Jill had a pond on the way, but new safety regulations have made it a drained and sunken garden, free of hosta and other moisture. I grew groups of 5-7 of the plants that love the vine.
Royce has some raised beds near the back door where he grows some vegetables and herbs.
“The soil here isn’t good enough, so Nigel grows most of his vegetables at his son’s house, which is about five minutes away. He goes there about once a week,” says Jill. . Retains moisture all summer long. Nigel enjoys growing anything from his “stored” seeds, from carrots and parsnips to broccoli, red onions and pumpkins. Red beets too – he brought the beets home for me to bottle. “
The house sits on a rolling hill with spectacular views of the lake, town and Mount Tauhara.
Every Christmas, Jill throws a “fairy party” for local children in a cave she built deep in her garden. “It started with her eight children, but now she’s grown to 50. Plus, we have parents who enjoy the procedure just as much as their children,” she says.
Aside from this, Jill’s community spirit extends to wedding celebrations, with the gardens open by invitation only.
She runs her own gardening business four days a week. She has been in charge of the Huka Lodge gardens for years, so she is no stranger to the job.
In the meantime, Nigel has retired from working on the golf course and Jill has said she will build all the necessary buildings in the garden and pat on the edge, especially when visitors come.
“We are so happy to have created heaven in Taupo,” says Jill.