For years visitors and friends enthused over their wonderful hilltop location, so they finally built a guest cottage to share the peace and beauty of their farm and garden.
Evan was brought up on the family’s 1120 acre (450 hectare) sheep and beef farm, left home to study organic chemistry at university and met Liz, who was studying literature and language. At the end of their university studies they returned “home” for a year. They stayed!
Evan’s father developed the farm at the end of the Second World War after his return to New Zealand as an ex-Prisoner of War. He cleared the brush-covered land and literally sowed grass seed by hand, a seed sack slung over his shoulder. In his retirement years he became one of New Zealand’s leading conservationists, planting hundreds of thousands of native trees to regenerate some of New Zealand’s beautiful native forests. The picturesque family farm has large tracts of protected native bush – an enduring testimonial to his work.
Evan retains an interest in chemistry and “things scientific”. He’s also developed a passion for the bagpipes and now plays with a local band – he can often be heard practising at an appropriate distance from the cottage and has had many favourable guest reviews! His other interests include astronomy, constructing various engineering projects in his large workshop and distilling schnapps (fruit brandy).
Liz was born in Switzerland and still speaks Swiss-German fluently. As a young child her family emigrated to New Zealand to farm. Her mother was a fabulous cook, gardener and home-maker, but it took Liz some years to realize that she also enjoyed cooking, gardening and interior design. These days she loves experimenting in the kitchen, sharing her recipes, meeting people, making new friends, tending the large garden and reading.
Now that their 3 children have left home, Evan and Liz share the homestead with Coco, the resident cat. When he’s not relaxing, Coco loves nothing better than welcoming visitors! (The cottage interior is a ‘cat-free’ zone though, as a consideration to allergy sufferers).