Natives, autumn colours, a creek and a duck called Quack Quack.

Carolin Rewiti has cultivated her Putiki garden over the past decade, turning the half acre sheep paddock into her own personal sanctuary.

"There was nothing there, it was a sheep paddock," she said. "I just sort of did it bit by bit. A kaumatua used to come and give me a hand."

Slowly the fence got pushed further back as the sheep and long grass made way for Mrs Rewiti's expanding garden.


Paths of well-kept lawn lead through a range of trees and plants including roses, camellias and fruit trees, to a creek bordering the rear of the section.

"It's just somewhere for me to go that was my own stamp on the property. It was sort of my refuge if you like when I got home.

"I started with natives. And I like autumn colours so I wanted trees that lost their leaves."

Mrs Rewiti is a volunteer driver for the Cancer Society as well as looking after two other gardens. But she spends a few hours a day in her Putiki Drive one. She also sells succulents from her home.

"I like the creating, not particularly the maintenance."

Also patrolling the garden is Quack Quack, a muscovy duck who runs the show. "He flew in 10 years ago and decided to stay."

But Mrs Rewiti's garden is not just for her. She's happy for people to call up and have a wander through. In the past she has entertained community groups such as rest homes.