Trust takes over ‘significant’ garden

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By John Keast

Trott’s garden – a garden of international significance – is protected forever.

Robin Kilworth, spokesman for the Trott Garden Charitable Trust, said a company had bought the garden of Alan and Catherine Trott in Racecourse Road, Ashburton.

The trust would operate the garden with a view to buying it at a later date.

The garden attracts 1500 to 2000 visitors a year, and is popular for weddings and other events.

Mrs Kilworth said she and others had wondered what would happen to the garden when the Trotts wanted to retire, to protect it from development.

“It’s a wonderful garden of international significance; it is known world-wide; Alan’s work is respected world-wide.”

Mrs Kilworth said she and others thought how they would feel if they saw it, say, split up and thought they had done nothing to protect it.

The trust is run by Mrs Kilworth, Alister Argyle, Gary Leech and Jo Taylor.

“The trust will continue to operate it, and we have a group of volunteers to do the garden and lawns.

In time, staff may be employed.

Mrs Kilworth said it was common overseas for volunteers to work in gardens of significance, and happened elsewhere in New Zealand.

She said there was a big volunteer ethic in Mid Canterbury, and that showed through with the volunteers coming on board to run the garden.

The trust will take over later this month.

Mrs Kilworth said it was exciting for the community.

“It’s exciting and there will be an opportunity to visit and to admire the wonderful legacy of 40 years’ work.”

The woodland area is developed around curves, a pond added and English-inspired formal gardens.

The garden features 50 species of magnolia, 70 kinds of maples and varieties of dogwood, hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas, under-planted with woodland plants and ground cover.

There is also a chapel.