Conifers (trees that reproduce by means of cones) are a diverse group, including the giants of the forest – kauri and kahikatea – as well as the shrub-like pygmy pine.
Bob and Muriel bought this property (then a 200 acre dairy farm) in 1966. Initially there was very little garden and the first priority was reducing the size of the mortgages they were lumbered with. However Muriel had a keen interest in plants and the temptation of ‘movable fences’ was frequently too great to withstand. They could only afford one spade in the early years and it was a running joke that its handle was kept constantly warm between digging fence post holes on the farm and gardening. Development of the garden accelerated in the early 1970s with the sale of the dairy herd (to be replaced by a flock of coopworth sheep) and the creation of the nursery. The latter proving that the hobby could generate money as well as consume it! The name Maple Glen came about when we had to officially register a nursery. At the time there were over 30 varieties of Japanese Maples on the property and the garden was being developed in a curving valley with a water source in the bottom. Such a landform is called a Glen in Bobs native Ireland. The garden continues to be developed and extended.
We visited Maple Glen at the end of summer and it was beautiful then… this time our visit was at the beginning of spring, the colours and gardens are ablaze with so many different hues of colour they take your breath away. The various parrots and native birds that roam free on the 25 hectares live in a colourful paradise… just imagine what these gardens will look like when the maples add their burst of colour…when one stands at the top of the hill looking down on the conifers it is like looking into a fairy tale world… a magical sight.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Maple Glen Gardens Southland New Zealand.
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A Glympse Of Fairy Land
Conifer Corner – Maple Glen