Margaret Barker attended Victoria and Auckland Universities graduating with a BA degree. In 1967, with her husband, she bought Larnach Castle which at that time was empty, derelict and surrounded by a tangle of overgrowth. Margaret and her family restored and furnished the Castle and created a garden. At Larnach Castle there is now a licensed café, a lodge to accommodate guests, and a ballroom from which to hold functions.
Margaret has served on many horticultural and promotional committees and has received a number of awards for both business and design. She is an Associate of Honour of the RNZIH and received a QSM for conservation of historic buildings. Margaret’s garden is rated a 6-star ‘Garden of International Significance’ by the NZGT. Margaret is currently Founding Director of Larnach Castle Ltd.
In 2019 Margaret was appointed as the new Chair of the New Zealand Gardens Trust and in 2020 she joined the RNZIH National Executive as the RNZIH NZGT representative.