You could almost say that a herd of cows was responsible for the development of Mary Allan’s park-like Kerikeri garden. When she and her late husband Graeme first took over their waterfront property 15 years ago, a herd of community cows was shared out around the neighbourhood to keep the lifestyle blocks in the area under control.
"It was a bit of a city slicker thing," Mary recalls with a laugh, "but Graeme wasn’t keen on them because they left a mess behind. One day he was standing on the lawn looking at them standing in an area where a lot of water collected and he said, 'I think we should put a pond down there’. And that was it."
The couple had been living in Auckland and spending a lot of time holidaying in the far north when Graeme came up with the idea of a permanent move to the Bay of Islands.
"He figured out that, in 10 years, he’d spent two years up here, so we may as well be here full-time.This article featured in the November 2012 issue of NZ House & Garden.