NEWS RELEASE November 02, 2022
The legends behind the lawn... and the vineyard
Crestmead, Queensland (2 November, 2022) — IT'S HARD not to be envious of Tina Hutchinson's workplace - a hillside vineyard on the beautifully manicured grounds of New Zealand's iconic Sculptureum.
The outdoor sculpture museum features acres of gardens and a working vineyard overlooking the coast, which is cared for by a team of talented gardeners, vignerons and a John Deere tractor.
"We just love getting up to the top of the hill and being there for the dawn," Tina, the Vineyard Manager, said.
"There are two metal sculptures and when the sun comes through between them it is rather special."
Tina joined Sculptureum in 2017, the year it opened, bringing to a close a long and meticulous transformation from old dairy farm to North Island tourist attraction, featuring 10 ha of gardens, galleries, outdoor sculptures, restaurants and a vineyard that produces 10,000 bottles of wine a year.
"At Sculptureum we pride ourselves on creating grounds and gardens that our guests and staff can relax and breathe in and enjoy the clean, even lines and serenity," Tina said.
"We are north of Auckland which has a cool growing climate, with high winter rainfall and high humidity, which makes for unique growing conditions to maintain lawns and grass," Tina said.
Tina said a John Deere 1025R utility tractor came in handy thanks to its mulching attachment kit.
"The mulching kit is great and spreads the cuttings evenly and we haven't had any issues with blockages," Tina said.
"It's just a great implement to have in our tool kit," she said.
Apart from the helping with mulching biomass back into the ground, the 1025R also keeps the lawns in peak condition for the thousands of guests each year, and hosting functions ranging from birthdays to weddings.
"For a small boutique operation like Sculptureum it is light enough to use in all weather conditions without damaging the soil through compaction," Tina said.
"It also has the power to work at the heavy-going Kikuyu grass, which does require a machine to work harder than it if was mowing a fescue or rye sward."
Jaime Main is among the seven-strong team tending to the acres of gardens planted on the property's peat soils.
"The most rewarding part for me is working on a project and getting to see the conclusion and how everything looks, especially coming into spring," Jaime said.
"We've got a lot of bulbs starting to flower. Customers often say how beautiful it is and how amazing my job is, and that really is the case. I work in a wonderful environment."
Over the course of the past five years virtually every rock, plant and tree has been carefully placed and cared for by the team.
"My favourite place is Perennial Hill," Jaime said.
"We're updating it at the moment and it's full of flowers and when they're all blooming it is just an amazing attraction in the garden".
"I have also started an edible garden. We are hoping to provide enough vegetables and herbs for our restaurant, and, for the animals we have on site."
The Sculptureum is home to a range of animals including rabbits, exotic birds, turtles, tortoises and two Kunekune pigs.
Tina said working at a business that combines art and nature made for a remarkable job.
"We're very fortunate in that, because it is a creative business, that actually permeates through whatever we do and goes right the way through to the styles and the different things I can do with the wine and the vineyard and have fun with it," Tina said.
Jaime, who studied art history and art studies at high school, agreed their unique workspace fostered creativity.
"I think having a little bit of background in that also helps towards being creative in the garden and appreciating what we have here at Sculptureum," she said.
"It certainly is a one-of-a kind location."
About John Deere:
Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at JohnDeere.com or in New Zealand at JohnDeere.co.nz.