When Pauline Allomes bought her Aramoho home two years ago, it already had an established garden.

"It had previously been owned by gardeners, but they had not been able to garden for a while, so the place was a bit overgrown. I cleared two trailerloads of rubbish from the garden when I moved in," Pauline said.

She had been looking for a home with privacy, as her previous place had had a shared driveway and little privacy. While her new home is on a shared property, Pauline's house is at the back, and contains a surprisingly large amount of garden.

Directly behind the house is a long strip with a flourishing vegetable patch growing tomatoes, gherkins, onions, sweetcorn, rhubarb, herbs and potatoes in tyres.


There are also plenty of flowers - sweet peas, roses, geraniums, Pauline's favourite hydrangeas - and a giant ponga tree.

But walk to the end of this garden and you find yourself in a beautiful gem of a garden.

Opening off the conservatory is a lawn dominated by a leafy davidia tree, which provides plenty of shade. An edging garden, which includes plants such as camellia and garden art, provides privacy. Pauline has also managed to squeeze in a couple of feijoa trees.

"The garden is at its best in spring - there are lots of bluebells, violets, iris, rhododendrons and clematis."

Pauline has rheumatoid arthritis, so a friend helps her with larger jobs such as trimming the ponga tree.

But she still manages to spend half an hour to an hour each day pottering in her garden.

"The garden actually takes very little maintenance. I believe in planting intensively, so there's no room for weeds."

Gardening is in Pauline's family. When Pauline was a child her mother grew the family's vegetables; and Pauline's daughter, Sarah Neill, has published several gardening books.