A colourful group of 23 enjoyed this January day trip to the beautiful Hinewai Reserve and Fisherman’s Bay Garden. At Hinewai, Hugh Wilson, botanist and manager gave a most interesting talk, and I shall never look at gorse as a curse again.

Hugh says “The trick is that gorse is used to re-grow natives. You fight gorse by leaving it alone.” The gorse shelters native plants as they grow and once the natives form a canopy, the gorse, which needs full light to survive, dies underneath. It is just common sense to him!

In the afternoon we visited Jill & Richard Simpson’s Fisherman’s Bay Garden which is a haven in the rugged and dramatic landscape of Banks Peninsula coastline. The structure and texture of New Zealand Native Plants combined with a diverse array of non-native plants are used to create a truly NZ ambience

Winding paths and a varied landscape have inspired a garden with many parts including a traditional flower border, herb garden, farm garden, fern garden, shaded stream side valley, pond and a wild exposed rock garden. Jill is also a collector of native hebes, for which she has over 150 species and cultivars.

Gail Scrivener, Tour Manager