Jenny and her husband Guy began to plant shelter when they bought the property in 1984, while Jenny was working at Hollard Gardens.
Initially the property had no shelter around the house, so Jenny gardened in a hollow in the paddock with the intention of shifting some of those plants to the garden when the shelter grew.
However, by that time, the plants were all far too large to shift so had to stay where they were originally planted.
It wasn’t until Jenny left work with children on the way that the couple began developing the garden from a bare slate consisting from only a walnut tree. Most of the hard work was done while the Oakley children were still babies - Jenny recalls putting her young children to bed and rushing outside in the hope that they would stay sleeping while she was working.
To counter the foliage burning of the salt-laden onshore winds, a lot of hardy natives have been planted, namely Pittosporum crassifolium - one of the hardiest hedge plants for Taranaki – along with boxthorn hedges used as farm hedges around the garden.
Today, the large family garden is complete with hedge-lined paths linking carefully planned garden rooms, brick walls and pillars, exuberant cottage style borders, early flowering roses, a vegetable potage and many hanging baskets.