THE SOUND of ciccada's singing is the only thing you can hear as you walk into the garden of Ron and Janice Savage.
Set on a beautiful half acre property in the middle of the Stratford township, Ron and Janice, have transformed what was once a bare piece of land, into a lovely array of colour and life.
"When we bought this place, five years ago, the banks were full of water fern. It had no value at all," said Janice.
"Ron worked for eight months, clearing away trailer load after trailer load of rubbish."
The spectacular garden hosts 31 rododendrens, as well as a charming rose garden, vegie garden, daylias, gladiola's, an arrangement of pot plants that line the pattio and many shrubs and trees.
"Ron isn't a big fan of rose's, but one day he came inside and told me he'd built me a rose garden," smiles Janice
"It was only so they weren't in the rest of the garden," replied Ron.
Ron and Janice have bought a lot of the plants that surround their garden, but also use cuttings and plants they have recieved over the years.
"All the waste we have goes back into the vegie garden," said Ron.
The couple spend a lot of time in the garden, pottering around working on projects and little jobs that need doing. Currently they have one major project on the go. This incudes building up a piece of garden to fill in a few gaps, and they said it will hopefully be the last major project, although there will always be something that needs to be done.
"All we need is a pair of sicatears and a bucket and away we go."
Janice, formally a member of the New Plymouth Probus until she moved to Stratford, is a member of the local garden circle club, and admitts she doesn't know a lot about gardening, but is happy to learn as she goes, enjoying every moment of it.
Walking around the garden, it was obvious that the pair were very proud of their masterpiece, and rightly so.
With their favourite place being a secluded piece of lawn that was host to a wedding, surrounded by outstanding flowers, trees and banks.
Flowing beside this little piece of paradise was a small stream with a beautiful foot bridge built over top by Ron.
People who have visited this garden, absolutly love it and rave of its beauty.
"It's just like a park, said the visitors," said Janice But it's not just people that enjoy this garden, looking around, hundreds of little white butterflies flutter around adding more life to the already boasting garden.
Unfortunately for Ron, they enjoy the cabbages too.