Woodbank Estate

In the foothills of Hanmer Springs, the Woodbank Estate has the feel of an old storybook about it. Which may seem like a most peculiar thing to say. It’s because of the way the trees, a mixture of deciduous and evergreens, might tell a story. This is a place where things happen, characters come alive and tales are told. A four season setting where each season presents a different ambience, setting the scene for a new chapter. So yes, a storybook feel.

Keeping a watch all year round are the stately evergreens, Cedrus (Cedars), Pinus (Pines), Sequioadendron and Thuja. These are trees of distinction that will grow strong and tall, establishing a scale for the occupants of the homes nearby.

With a snow white bark and shiny, deep green leaves, the Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ (Himalayan Silver Birch) stand in partial contrast to the manicured lawns and dark wooden fencing. As does the Quercus coccinea (Scarlet Oak) when Autumn turns it’s seven-lobed leaves a dramatic red. Similar (and often mistaken for) Quercus palustris (Pin Oak) and the Quercus rubra (red oak) that also feature, Woodlands becomes a playground for related trees that present a visual harmony for a feeling of connectivity.

Then, if ever there was a tree to signify the start of a new chapter and gently ease us between seasons, it is the Prunus (blossoming cherries). When in full bloom, their show is intoxicating, drawing in the senses and relaxing the mind. They have a quite remarkable ability to make you feel nostalgic and optimistic for the future at the same time.

As does the Woodbank Estate. And quite possibly, a good storybook.