TE KAINGA MARIRE, New Plymouth, New Zealand

Te Kainga Marire means ‘peaceful encampment’ in Maori. This garden has been created on a private property in the middle of New Plymouth, a city of 53,000 on the Tasman Sea coast of the Northern Island of New Zealand, which is part of the Taranaki region.
The owners of the property, Valda Poletti and Dave Clarkson, began work on this garden back in 1972, when it was pretty much wasteland. Over the years they planted many native trees and bushes, being careful to follow the natural association of plants in the wild as much as possible. The main goal was to make this place a ‘bird-friendly’ garden.
After all those years of efforts they have succeeded, proof of which is the return in the area of the ‘tui’ bird, a large forest dwelling honey eater native to New Zealand (photos in the section on Birds of the World).

Another ‘proof’ is the recognition bestowed to the garden by the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture Gardens Trust. This trust provides a list of private and public gardens to visit, which are rated using a star system, six stars being the highest rating. Te Kainga Marire holds that prestigious rating and is listed as a ‘garden of international significance’ by the trust.

Te Kainga Marire has been featured in 2008 in a BBC televised series entitled ‘Around the World in 80 gardens’, by Monty Don. It’s available on youtube:


And here’s the Te Kainga Marire official website:


Please click on the photos below to enlarge them and read their captions at the bottom. You can also enlarge the photos even more by clicking on the enlargement button at the top of the already enlarged photos.




Although there’s no photos of them here the visitor can see glowworms on that property. The garden creators have built a special tunnel for them, through which one can walk and see those unusual animals. They are not real worms but rather insect larvae with bioluminescence. In New Zealand the glowworm is the larva of the fungus gnat, a carnivorous insect that lives in colonies of hundreds, so their light is apparently strong enough to read a book.

A site about Gardens and Monarch Butterflies