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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Gordon Collier’s 3 Gardens



This beautiful hardback is a visual delight, from the cover to all the content. It celebrates three gardens created by one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary gardeners, Gordon Collier.


Gordon has published previous garden books and was the gardens editor for NZ House & Garden magazine before retiring. He regards his time advising Sir Michael Hardie Boys, the Governor-General from 1996 to 2001, on the restoration of the Wellington Government House garden as the pinnacle of his horticultural career.


The three gardens celebrated in this book are all delightful in their own way and will inspire other gardeners around Aotearoa.


The first garden is at Titoki Point, in Taihape, which Gordon worked on from 1965 to 1999. Through hard work and a grand dream, Gordon spent 30 years taking a clay-ridden, sunny hillside to a garden that attracted international attention and was featured in more than one TV programme or magazine. He sourced the best and most unusual of plants, assembling them in a way that is a little magical. All of this was done while Gordon was working as a full-time shepherd. The photographs reveal a vast, lush, colourful garden, a small Garden of Eden in New Zealand.


Gordon created the next garden from 2000 to 2019, Anacapri, a flat site with pumice soil near Lake Taupo. This garden encapsulates several gardening styles in a small area, with the zones named The Fountain Garden, Canal Garden, Long Borders, Rose Arbour and Going Bush, to name some in the book. The New Zealand Gardens Trust awarded Anacapri 6 stars.


Moving back to Taihape, The White House Garden is the one that Gordon has been working on since 2020, showing again his remarkable skill with sourcing unusual plants and placing them together in creative and visually appealing ways, together with pots, artefacts, seats, arches and sculptures.


Gordon Collier’s 3 Gardens is a must-have for anyone interested in gardens, and it has forewords by Kate Caughlan and Jack Hobbs.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Quentin Wilson Publishing

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