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Hollard Gardens Parties To Be Election Winners

Taranaki Regional Council media release
23 October 2008
For immediate release

Hollard Gardens Parties To Be Election-Season Winners

Refurbishing Hollard Gardens near Kaponga has been such a big job that there’ll be two parties to celebrate its completion.

Combined garden fairs and farmers markets will be held on 1 November and 8 November at the property, which is just north of Kaponga at 1686 Manaia Road. With the second date being election day, Hollard staff joke that it will be an opportunity for people to “use their feet and vote for the garden party”.

The events will feature local band Gumboot Tango and stalls selling local crafts and produce. And of course the azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias will be at their glorious best.

An important aim of the refurbishment project was to give visitors a better opportunity to appreciate the vision of the gardens’ founder, renowned plantsman Bernie Hollard. He began developing the 4.5 ha property in 1927, continuing until his death in 1996. Hollard Gardens is now owned and managed by the Taranaki Regional Council on behalf of the people of the region.

“Bernie Hollard was an incredibly dedicated gardener who built up a stunning collection of plants and earned a huge reputation in New Zealand and overseas,” says the Council’s Regional Gardens Manager, Greg Rine, who worked with Bernie for seven years.

“As well as enjoying the gardens for themselves, visitors can now share in Bernie’s vision through user-friendly new way-finding and interpretive material we’ve developed as part of the refurbishment project.”

The project also involved construction of a new gatehouse, events pavilion, children’s playground and barbecue area. The car park has also been sealed.

“The new events pavilion is on the main lawn and it will be a great place for all sorts of events, from weddings to fundraisers for charities and community groups,” says Mr Rine. “We’ve also developed a programme of public events and workshops aimed at both the general gardener and those with specialist interests.”

The workshop programme and other information is available on the new Hollard Gardens website, www.hollardgardens.info, which eventually will also offer access to a new database cataloguing the property’s extensive plant collection.

Mr Rine says the database software offers the potential for the public to use the information at a variety of levels, depending on their depth of interest.

“Some people might only want to know the common name of a particular plant. Others might want full botanical details. It will all be there.”

A new Hollard Gardens logo has also been developed, featuring the catchline “Tread the soils”.

The garden fairs-farmers markets on 1 and 8 November will follow a small formal launch for invited guests on 29 October.

The gardens are open from 9am to 5pm daily and entry is free.


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