Monday, March 26, 2018

NZ House and Garden Cover

Mirabile dictu, Willowbrook Park is front cover of the April edition of NZ House and Garden!


We were given a 7 page spread in the magazine, which encompassed aspects of family life here at the manor and brilliantly showcased the estate thanks to the photography of the talented Jane Ussher and the words of seasoned writer Denise Irvine.


Denise Irvine                      Jane Ussher

And some very kind words from Editor Sally Duggan...


Very proud to have it grace our coffee table...

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Courtyard Fountain...

We have been slowly chipping away at a few final touches since we shifted in (2 years ago this Christmas). One of those touches was finishing the courtyard fountain and pond. We have so far got it to this stage....


The plans for the fountain show the circular lawn and pond, with a fountain in the centre and four stone lions spouting water into the pond from the lawn...

We  started the pond 2 years ago, when we were forming the driveway...

And then had the turf laid...

Inspired by photos such as these...


Then we took a long time searching for a fountain. We initially considered ornate statuary such as this...




But settled on something more restrained and classical...

 like these...




By now the fountain was starting to look almost finished, but we had also gone through 3 years in a row where we failed to get our waterlilies in the lake to take (every time a fresh shoot came up the Mallards ate it). So we decided to try having waterlilies and goldfish in the courtyard pond after seeing how this could still look rather nice...

We were lucky enough that a local couple who booked to come to high tea after the fine homes tour said that they had a large pond with fish and waterlilies, which they were having to cull annually, and would we like some? We said yes please. So last weekend we popped down the road to visit them and collect said aquatic offerings. They had a large clay puddled pond with masses of fish and lilies...

The gentleman kindly donned his waders, jumped in, and started to dig out some well rooted lilies...

He also caught us some fish (7), for our pond as well... 

Here are two of them (Brian and Jackie) being released into our pond at home...


I spent the morning potting up the lily pads, making sure I spaced them all out carefully and turned all the leaves up to face the sun. Woe betide any Mallards that come near this pond!

Finally, we wish to complete the fountain by getting a jet ring to go around the inside of the pond and spray water back towards the urn...

As well as some Buxus or Euonymus to go around the outside...

We are discovering it is nice to have some ongoing projects, to keep us engaged with the park in a creative journey that will hopefully last for generations to come. Night night for now...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Willowbrook Park on Front Page of the Times again...

Willowbrook Park was front page of the Waikato Times again, this time promoting its inclusion in the Fine Homes Tour, a charitable event that will see 1500 people pass through its doors over the course of a weekend. The tour will raise over $100,000.00 for the Waikato Breast Cancer Research Trust, as well as Riding for the Disabled.











Sunday, October 15, 2017

Summer Serenade for The Dame Malvina Major Foundation...

Join us at Willowbrook Park for a exquisite concert in aid of The Dame Malvina Major Foundation for young performing artists. Talented soloists will serenade you as you enjoy summer wines crafted by Mills Reef winery and 5 star food from our award winning caterers Kerr and Ladbrook.


Tickets are selling fast - Don't miss out!
 Book your ticket here...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Here comes the sun (little darlin')

Well hello! We look like we're back into the swing of things here at Willowbrook after a prolonged period of sporadic blogs. If you're a returning viewer thanks for sticking with us over the past 6 months. If you're new to the blog then please enjoy the vast back catalog of posts.

This week's blog is brought to you by the letters VCP and the colour Marigold yellow!

Inspired by the advent of spring and the cheerful yellow colour which has become almost synonymous with Veuve Cliquot over the last few decades, we have decided to create a sensationally sunny summer relaxation space on the cocktail lawn. Guests will be able to relax outside, and take in the warm summer sun (and a restorative glass of champagne).

Conscious of the long term consequences of too much sun, we also wanted to provide sun umbrellas to protect those guests who didn't want to soak up too much UV. Hence these jolly yellow numbers...


We've purchased eight luxury sun loungers with cream mattresses and matching side tables...
and four large yellow umbrellas. This number of loungers happens to neatly space out between the buxus topiaries on the cocktail lawn...


They should arrived next month, which is fine as we usually experience spring showers before it truly becomes lounging weather. We have also sourced some lovely chic yellow trellis pattern cushions to pair with each lounger...



The end effect will look something like this...




We were somewhat inspired by the yellow of the veuve cliquot brand...
Fun in the sun, or fun in the snow!
Ironically, VCP is not our house champagne, but rather Pol. But I don't think they have copyrighted the colour yellow just yet (unlike Cadbury's and the colour purple).

Once we have the pool and pool house built the loungers may shift. Here are some inspirational pictures to get you in the mood for summer ...
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