The Giant's house- the most beautiful yard art and gardens

While in Akaroa, we walked through the town and up a steep road to find the Giant's House, one of the most amazing gardens I've ever experienced. For $20 per person, you are allowed in to enjoy the many concrete mosaic sculptures and to smell the sweet smell of summer flowers and fruit trees. There are even vegetables growing among the flowers and sculptures.

The 1880 house was purchased by an artist, Josie Martin, who has spent the past 18 years living there and 14 of those creating the masterpieces we saw. It's difficult to choose just a few photos, because the yard is built in tiers and each stairway leads to a new discovery. She has such a passion for the house and gardens, and incorporates her love of other places into the works she designs. There were a few projects ongoing, so it's obviously a work in progress. There were no gardens at the house when she started. The artwork is done with broken tiles, mirrors, and glass.

The house is run as a bed and breakfast, but it isn't part of the tour. It's also a private home. I read that the house was built of hardwoods, totara and kauri, and it took 5 years to build. There is a mahogany staircase imported from France. Josie has her paintings hanging throughout. She also has her earlier mosaic works in the front steps and conservatory. Some of the china in those was found in the garden.

We bought a few ice cream drinks and lavender shortbread cookies to enjoy in the shade trees where several tables are set up. A nice young lady clad in apron served us and told us about working there. You can check out the website at It truly was an unforgettable place!

Surprise!  Even the toilet is tiled!


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