The Dream Of Gethsemane Gardens Begun – 1957

When Ken and Bev Loader looked out from their new undeveloped Clifton Hill property, they could see Mid Canterbury in all its glory – from the glittering waters of Pegasus Bay across our great Plains to the Southern Alps.  What a view to begin a dream with!  The pair were still learning their new trade as Market Gardeners but now with a slice of their own land, they were certainly on their way.  The year was 1957.

It wasn’t until 1987, after the development of a perennial flower nursery that the pair felt truly inspired.  Pouring in their Christian faith and all their spare time, a garden began to merge, taking up almost three hectares when completed.    Out of this came unique settings such as: the Prayer and Jerusalem Gardens, a chapel, scriptures spelt out in shrubbery and to everyone surprise, in 2004, Noah’s Ark.  Gethsemane Gardens, with thousands of locals and tourists alike having walked the grounds, had earned its place in many Cantabrian hearts.

After many failed attempts to sell the gardens and sadly with the passing of Ken Loader, the property has since been sub-divided and sold.

Offered as a venue for all sorts of celebrations, Bev still hires out Noah’s Ark.  It boasts of a ballroom, chapel, restaurant, commercial kitchen and of course, a view that demands admiration!

*Image courtesy if Gethsemane Garden –



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