Ken and Jennifer Horner, both from South Taranaki, have spent the last 35 years creating what is now Puketarata Garden. They excavated a platform for the house to gain shelter from the southerly winds and planted out the westerly. The property was developed as a family home, for their three children with a large lawn and tennis court.
While a science teacher at the local Hawera High School for many years, Jennifer had no formal garden training but has always loved gardening. “It’s in my DNA!” says Jennifer, her grandparents Griff and Louie Williams were very keen gardeners. They developed a four acre garden at Ohangai which opened at Labour Weekend in the 1950’s as a fund-raiser for Plunket. Griff was the founding Chairman of Pukeiti.
Jennifer strives to have a strong New Zealand focus to her garden, as she feels it compliments the wider landscape, a focus on greens, texture, bronze and silver, a restful environment which wraps around.
Much of the garden has been planned to be viewed from within the house. They live in their garden.
All this is made easy with the wonderful friable, free draining volcanic soil, egmont loam, temperate, climate and regular rainfall.
They are currently improving access into & around the gully below. Planting started there in 1978.