In my backyard: A piece of paradise that tells a story

Member of the Auckland Rose Society and the Pigeon Mountain Garden Club, Val Lott is known for her delightful garden tours and  parties she hosts at her hidden gem, nestled in Howick. The hostess-with-the-mostess, shares her pride and joy that unveils a beautiful story with different points of interest.

“Just as my pageant girls bought sheer pleasure to so many people over my twenty-five years as coordinator of Miss Howick so does my garden give sheer pleasure to the many people who visit us.

I always referred to my beautiful pageant girls as my rose buds that blossomed into beautiful roses.

And I love having many rose varieties blooming in my country style garden. From standard white icebergs roses, to colourful floribunda and hybrid tea, surrounded with many shrubs, perennial and annual flowers.

It is twenty-six years since I bought my current home from a popular teacher at Maclean’s College, Dennis Martin and his wife Margaret, a teacher at Pakuranga College. The section at the back was an orchid of fruit trees and a vegetable garden.

As a young mum I spent every free hour in the garden. On retiring six year ago I was able to spend eight hours a day, five days a week working on it, and now I can enjoy a well-established country style garden.

Gardening is such amazing therapy as you work with the soil, and its great exercise.

After thirty-two years as a single mum, I met my wonderful husband, Allan Parker. Al has been instrumental in structurally developing pergolas, deckings and a wonderful sun-house to enhance my garden.

Al spent years as a painter – decorator, transforming homes and I spent years transforming many young people’s lives.

Together, we have transformed my garden into our little piece of paradise.

We now open our garden, to garden tours, small weddings and private groups for morning tea and lunches.”

Related: In my backyard: A touch of Italy