Homebush is a unique tourist destination west of Christchurch New Zealand offering a country experience of our nations history and culture.
The extensive garden was first planted out in the early 1850's and has been developed by the Deans family over the last 160 years. The magnificent trees were planted very early and provide a frame for the sweeping lawns. Many of the trees are registered in the local ordinances and are recorded in books of nationally and internationally significant trees. The avenue of atlantic cedars up the driveway were planted in 1913.
In the 1920's and 30's James Deans planted over a thousand different species of rhododendrons under the trees in the style of Bodnant in Northern Wales. They make a spectacular show in spring.
The circular orchard is an interesting and rare feature of the garden. It was planted out in holly in the early 1850's as a sheltered vegetable garden and tree nursery. Now it has old roses and different varieties of fruit trees and bushes.
The GardenerAm I a gardener? I think that this garden turned me into a gardener rather than me creating the garden. When we came to live at Homebush in 1981 I had four small children, a very large house to look after and no money. For the first years I concentrated on the children, then on the house. By this time the garden was in desperate need of resuscitation and so was I and so we created a partnership, the garden and me. It was something akin to the garden of Heligan then. I wanted to bare it back to its bones to see what the original design was and the vision that lay there somewhere, buried. For twelve years we sawed and hacked and pushed back and back until we began to get a glimpse of the original design. The answer to the question is no, I am not a gardener but I have been given the stewardship of this beautiful garden which has been in the family for 160 years. I have been assisted by experts and professionals who have pointed me in the right direction. I have had to learn about trees and plants, about landscaping and about planting. And about hard work. I always saw myself as a creator rather then a maintainer, but the pleasure has come with knowing my roses and rhodies as old friends. Was it all worth it? A resounding yes because now this is the most beautiful garden in the world!
State Highway 73 takes the visitor along the main west road through the small Canterbury towns of West Melton, Kirwee and Darfield. At the end of Darfield turn left onto State Highway 72/77, the Inland Scenic Route. Homebush is 8 kms from Darfield and is well sign-posted.
From Arthurs Pass
Take State High 73 until pass through Waddington. Take the first road on the right, Deans Road turning right on to Homebush Road. Homebush is sign posted on the right approx 1km.
Enjoy the countryside and views of the Southern Alps.
Eight acres of rambling garden and massive trees. Allow 1-2 hours for your visit.
There are gifts to take home with you. A postal service is available.
Please go to gift shop page for more information.
Sheep shearing and a working farm dog display are available on request.
We can even provide a vintage car display!
Also of great interest is the unique water turbine, still in working order, with a patent date of 1859 made in Dayton Ohio and installed at Homebush in 1879.