Others may go bungy jumping, but I get all the thrills I need visiting gardens. Today I took a garden tour of three local gardens. Our tour leader explained that English country gardens do well in this climate, so that's what we'd be seeing. Native NZ plantings are more popular with younger people, she explained (not being very old herself), but not with these gardeners.
All three were enjoyable, and all notable for their incredible views of the hills behind the gardens. First up was Pat, a chipper soul who has created multiple garden rooms outside of Queenstown. Here's an example of the borrowed landscape in her garden.
My favorite feature was this birch planting, underplanted with daffodils that are allowed to ripen and die back, and with a delicate grass showing now. She mows a winding path through it. Simple, beautiful, effective.
Here is Pat by her perennial borders. I saw lots of familiar things: lilies (but no day lilies), phlox, a few hostas, gooseneck loosetrife (which is not a pest for her), ladysmanle (which is), and lots of roses.
Here's her house with the mountains behind.