The gardens have been selected for their diversity in style and for the humble, passionate home gardeners who planted them. These growers have developed a wealth of knowledge over their lifetimes and have generously contributed their practical advice and wisdom.
Though each garden is so different, they all embody the values of sustainable gardening practices, of tuning in and learning through observation, of kaitiaki and of knowledge sharing.
Ngā Kaupeka, Forrest Hill, Auckland
Crosshill Garden, Lake Hawea, Central Otago
Violet's Garden, Dunedin
Wellington Garden, Stokes Valley
Birch Hill Flower Farm, North Canterbury
Cornwall Pocket Farm, Auckland
Texture Garden, Taradale, Napier
Greenhills Paradise, Coromandel
Bush Retreat, Wellington
The Little Insect Farm, Taranaki
Fantail and Flax, Bay of Plenty
Jane Mahoney founded the Secret Gardens website (secretgardens.co.nz) to create a connected community of gardeners. It's a curated collection of gardens across New Zealand, each with a passionate, knowledgeable gardener who hosts guided visits and workshops in their specialist areas. Jane has been a slightly obsessive gardener for a long time and recently she and her partner have been taming and restoring their one-acre hillside property on Banks Peninsula.
Sophie Bannan is Jane's daughter and the other half of Secret Gardens. Sophie is an artist, writer, teacher and a new mum wanting to contribute something productive to the world her daughter will grow up in. Sophie is an allotment holder at Sanctuary Mahi Whenua gardens in Auckland.