From The Archives: Tranquility Belies Work

A tranquil spot on the outskirts of Stratford is a must-see on the garden trail next month.

Maureen Ostler’s 1.6 hectares (4 acres) of bushland-inspired scenery and three man-made lakes are the perfect picnic spot only minutes from the central Taranaki township.

Ostler’s Garden, at 190 Warwick Road East, has been an annual feature in the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular since its inception.

Mrs Ostler has spent 45 years cultivating her little slice of heaven, slowly expanding it from originally barren paddocks.

“There’s a lot of shelter now but there was none when we came,” she said.

The three large lakes are encircled by an array of colourful established trees.

These both shelter the paths and create a lot of work for Mrs Ostler.

“I try to keep the paths nice and clean, so it’s like walking on the mountain, we’ve tried to make it as natural as possible.”

At 81 years old, Mrs Ostler is not considering sharing the workload.

Every patch of the property, including those inhabited by the eight swans, 120 sheep, a goat and pigeons, is lovingly tended by her.

She said having something to do each day keeps her young.

“I get asked when I’m going to retire. I hope never.”

About 600 people visit Ostler’s Garden every year during the Spectacular event and every year the proceeds are donated to the Stratford Lions Club.