Puhikereru, our 3 hectare bush garden, lies on the southwestern flank of Mount Furneaux, deep in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. Its inspiration lies with those wilderness gardens that strive not to tame nature but rather to use her guidance for what to plant and where.
Accommodation in the bush garden is at Horoeka Cottage, a fully self-contained, cosy and private bach (holiday home).
As the garden grows it is constantly evolving: an echo of the coastal beech and podocarp forest that was here before the land was cleared for farming in the 1890s, then abandoned to introduced weeds 60 years later.
Our planting, which supports the self-seeding from the nearby Howden’s Bush, reflects the ancient biodiversity of this lovely place. Some of these trees – miro, rimu, kohekohe, tawa, totara, kahikatea, rewarewa and beeches amongst them – may, in a few hundred years, replace some of the lost forest giants that were here before.
We are Judy and John Hellstrom. Puhikereru has been our only home for 14 years now, a goal we started working towards in 1982. We had holidayed here since 1978 and lived here for a year in 1982/83 with our young children. We discovered then it was our place of being.
Read our blog Endeavour Inlet Conservation Trust
We are sponsors of the Kaipupu Point Sounds Wildlife Sanctuary
Kereru is the Maori name for the native New Zealand wood pigeon. It is a common sight in the Marlborough Sounds as it flies from tree to tree feeding on berries. Kereru play a vital part in the distribution of seeds from native trees.
Puhikereru is the original name for Mt Furneaux, where the mid-winter sun rises for us, and is the source of the flocks of kereru that we see here, especially in the Spring. The late afternoon sun catches the slopes of the mountain, turning them into a bright mosaic of olive to emerald green. The pair of falcons circle high up there in the dusk, before swooping low over the bush. Puhikereru is “our” mountain, our maunga, and, through the foresight of Captain Howden, its last private owner, she is still wearing her original cloak of forest.