“Gardening sits in between science and art combining elements of both. It allows me to create something appealing to the eye thus contributing to the current and future environment around us as well as being functional in providing necessities – be it shelter or food. It provides an opportunity to connect with people, to share ideas, precious memories and experiences thereby enriching relationships. Above all it is a therapy – it exercises the body, stimulates the mind and restores the soul.”

-Joy Redwood

Joy Redwood is my Aunty. My Mum’s twin. She lives in a beautiful remote bay, deep in the Marlborough sounds in New Zealand. Ever since I can remember, we have been trailing after Mum and Joy on their garden tours at Christmas time. It wasn’t until recently that I saw these roaming visits in a new light. 

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Joy often points out plants she has moved to let in more light or open up a vista. She always has several projects on the go at the same time. An orchard thigh high in grass, slowly being transformed into tree sized hydrangeas, fringed with citrus. Ross brown chickens roam free in the orchard, cleaning up the understory.

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Blues are carefully placed with mauves and deep magentas, while texture is well considered and executed with care. If something isn’t working or growing well, it is moved or potted up, until a new space becomes available. 

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Joy is a careful conservationist, growing and potting hundreds of native seedlings which are hardened off under a sheltered tree canopy. Eventually they are either planted in the ever expanding garden or out into a fenced off area on the farm.

Joy will always be an inspiration for me in gardening and native regeneration projects. Im always looking forward to seeing the next project unfold.

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