Auckland Gardens

We visited 3 private gardens today – Totara Waters, Mincher Garden and Omaio. We also visited Morris & James Pottery.


This 3 acre property, purchased 23 years ago, is located along an inlet of a bay and as a result of the mild climate, the owner can grow and sell many tender bromeliads. The owner works 6 days a week propagating plants for sale and working in the garden. A hired gardener works half time mowing the lawn, weeding and pruning.

The lawns and the islands in the lawns are edged with many different succulents and bromeliads:

The lawn slopes to the water where there is a mangrove swamp and a wrecked ship and good opportunities to see water birds.

Here are some examples of the beautiful Bromeliads the owners grow for sale:

The last photo is one where the Bromeliad is blooming. A year or two after it finishes blooming it will die; there will be babies under it to continue the growth of the new generation.

They also have a collection of Tillandsias which are called “air plants” and need no soil:

Some beautiful Vireya Rhododendrons are in bloom:

Pot Collection:


This is a huge 20 acre garden which is cared for by 5 full time gardeners and was started in 1996.

This garden has everything – lawns, perennial borders, kitchen garden,creeks, ponds, bog garden, Rhododendron walk and bush walk. We walked for 1 1/2 hours and still didn’t see it all.

Many acres of lawn require 2 workers full time to mow, edge and trim.

Water is a big aspect of this garden especially because of the ducks and birds that live here.

Old garden cottage area:

Rhododendron walk area:

Bush walk:

Kitchen Garden:

Pear arbor:

Cottage area:


Interesting Plants:

Silver Fern (Cyathea dealbata) native to New Zealand

Gunnera tinctora

Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) found in fossils; found live in Australia in 1995. 34 specimens native in Australia but many are now propagated in botanical gardens.

Creeping Wire Vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris)

Native to New Zealand

Mattress Vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa)

Native to New Zealand

Totara (Podocarpus totara)

Native to New Zealand

Leptinella dioica

Native to New Zealand

Weeping Bald Cypress (Taxodium)

Clematis montana

Corydalis flexuosa

Next post: Omaio Garden

A special garden that deserves its own post.

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