ABOUT OUR PLACE
We feel so lucky to be living in this beautiful and peaceful part of the Waikato, our 40 hectare Waerenga farm, near Te Kauwhata. For generations our family has lived and worked here – each family contributing to what our place is today.
Mostly farming, each generation did their own thing: dairy farming, beef farming and today we run a fruit orchard. The ‘green finger gene’ kept running throughout the family, and has brought to us our beautiful and historical gardens – that we’d like to share with you.
We want to share our Waikato gem with others. It’s a peaceful place with a lovely intimate and country feel. A joy to the senses with so much beauty to see, feel, smell, and taste too.
So years ago Jane McIntyre (fourth generation Carters) -today’s manager of Plum Meadows- decided to open the doors and welcome the public for garden visits and make the gardens and original 1880’s barn available for functions.
And to make sure each group that visits Plum Meadows gets that unique Plum Meadows experience, our guests get to have our space all to themselves during their visit or function; from garden visit to wedding, from celebration to business meeting.
The Carter family (Jane’s great-grandparents and family of nine children) arrived in the Waerenga Valley in the early 1900’s. As they grew, most of the children farmed and raised families in the district. Jane’s grandfather and grandmother bought the current property in the early 1920’s and built a new house after the original was burnt down.
Willie Carter -as Jane’s grandfather was known- had six teams of draught horses (Clydesdale Horses) and he built a lot of roads on the Hauraki Plains around Kaihere, using his horses. He also kept a team of horses in a paddock closer to Te Kauwhata as he had a contract with the Council at the time to grade the roads around there too.
Lofty, Sam and Bonnie were the last three Clydesdales that Willie had. He used to call them to the barn from the road gate a quarter of a mile away and they used to come thundering up to see him.
When Jane’s father took over the farm it became a dairy farm and then a bull beef unit and the barn turned into a workshop and storage shed from when Willie had it as stables.
When Jane and her husband Dave took over the farm it continued as a bull beef unit but then turned into a stone fruit orchard and the barn first became a landscape studio and now a multi-purpose all-weather venue
Willie had an extensive vege garden and well thought out gardens around the house. When Jane and Dave arrived, they expanded the garden quite extensively as it is today