Water cooler: highlights from Garden Marlborough, flying pigs, posh sheds


This week in the water cooler, we celebrate the highlights of Garden Marlborough, see some flying pigs and create posh sheds.


Last Friday I joined a happy busload of Garden Marlborough visitors for a morning exploring gardens along Spring Creek. I was already pretty excited at the prospect of an adventure with like-minded gardeners when I set off, but by the time our bus tour had finished I was wildly over-stimulated by what I’d seen. Oh, my dreams of what I’m about to do to my gardens now knows no bounds. My poor phone camera ran out of battery life after only a few hours so furiously did I attempt to capture every beautiful and clever thing.
There’s something in the Marlborough soil that inspires its people to create magnificent gardens on such a scale. Two decades of Garden Marlborough has those locals having a dream and going for it.
Whatever the cause, the effect is wondrous. I haven’t been able to stop babbling about it since I returned and wishing to show my images to anyone who will give me a minute.
Here are just few before my phone died….

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For another wonderful  Marlborough garden read about Patrick Rattray’s formal garden here. Read more about Garden Marlborough here.
Kate Coughlan
Editor, NZ Life & Leisure



As one of those people shouting at the television every time Christmas ads come on (it’s still November!), I’m loath to join the masses suggesting Christmas gift ideas. However, this is one very close to my heart. Good Bitches Baking is a charity movement where volunteers bake and deliver homemade goods to people in need (read more about it here). They’ve been hard at work creating the first Good Bitches cookbook, Bloody Good Baking. A collection of 75 recipes from volunteers around the country – a few are recognisable faces – and all profits go straight to the Good Bitches Baking Trust. So your present will not only bring little morsels of happiness to the lucky recipient but hundreds of others – it’s truly the gift that keeps giving.

On a personal note, I’ve been a ‘Good Bitch’ for a year or so now and interviewed Nic for the Way of Life column in issue #65. We both ended up with watery eyes as she shared a story with me about a man who had never, ever had a piece of home-baking until given a piece delivered by Good Bitches. Hard to imagine, isn’t it? So let’s let EVERYONE eat cake this Christmas!

Pre-sales of Bloody Good Baking are running until December 3rd; order now for $40 (plus postage) and save $5.
Cheree Morrison
Staff writer, NZ Life & Leisure



Flying pigs at Colenso Cafe

A dream ride for a lot of NZ motorbike enthusiasts is the Coromandel Loop. It starts at Kopu, just south of Thames, heads up the peninsula to Coromandel township, then over the hills and down the eastern side, eventually looping back through winding roads to Kopu.
Partway through is a favourite stop for – let’s face it- the male bikers who all seem to enjoy having a break at the iconic Coroglen Tavern. As I’m completely uninterested in pubs and far more interested in food and cottage gardens, we went a few minutes south to Colenso Cafe and for lunch under the old plum trees. Native kaka feast on the citrus trees and we were kept company by an inquisitive, camera-shy magpie.
I was quite taken by their flying pigs, fresh coffee and ploughman’s lunch: pickles (home-made, from the garden) with a thick slice of ham and lashings of cheddar cheese, toasted in freshly baked turkish bread.
Beats a beer anytime.
Nadene Hall
Editor NZ Lifestyle Block


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It’s not just Lynda Hallinan who can transform a rudimentary shed into a spectacular  backyard oasis (If you haven’t seen it already, grab a copy of the latest NZ Life & Leisure to see more of Lynda’s ‘posh barn’ – or read the online version here)
Another couple doing great things with an ordinary outdoor space are Renee and Clinton Davies on their property in Kaukapakapa. When I went out to their home to photograph their pizza oven for our special edition In Your Backyard: FOOD & FIRE I was inspired by their upcycling ideas. I laughed to see an axe thrust in the door of their shed – but the old tool works well as a door handle. In another upcycling effort, their prefab glasshouse is jazzed up with decorative fretwork. Simple but very effective.

Yolanta Woldendorp
Creative Director
NZ Life & Leisure


Season 1 trailer of Suits
There’s been lots of talk about Prince Harry’s new girlfriend Meghan Markle in the press this week. But before she hit the headlines the California-born actress had already won the hearts of many TV fans for her role in Suits. In the legal drama Meghan plays Rachel Zane, a paralegal working her way into law school and the on-again off-again love interest of Mike Ross, a university dropout who has tricked his way into a lawyer job with his brilliant mind. Suits is easy viewing, with a similar style to House or The Mentalist but it’s not just popcorn TV – the show has challenging storylines covering legal ethics. Meghan is not just a pretty face, she has true acting chops and there is fantastic synergy between the cast members. Suits screens in New Zealand on both Netflix and Lightbox, but the latter has the latest season. The show is in its sixth season, but there’s still time to catch up and see why Meghan has caught the ‘Party Prince’s’ eye.
Emma Rawson
thisNZlife Editor


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