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Sweet Pea Festival coming up at Highwic

Sweet Pea Festival coming up at Highwic

Work is underway to transform the garden of one of Auckland’s most loved historic buildings into a floral extravaganza.

Highwic – the NZ Historic Places Trust property in Newmarket – is holding its Sweet Pea Festival and Garden Party on November 23-24.

“Preparation for the Sweet Pea Festival is taking place throughout the garden where an historic photo shows towering sweet pea plants in bloom,” says the Manager of Highwic, Cheryl Laurie.

“Our garden volunteers have constructed bamboo tepees and hoops in this area, and seed stock will be sown in three phases to ensure a long period of flowering.”

Thanks to a newly constructed rustic fence, the flowers – which need support to grow – will be able to flourish along Highwic’s rose walk. Made from manuka sourced from the south Kaipara farm once owned by Alfred Buckland – the original owner of Highwic – the rustic fence is a recreation of a historic feature.

The fence was kindly funded by garden volunteer Malcolm Waller, who is also a descendant of Alfred Buckland – and who in previous years farmed the Buckland property in the Kaipara.

“We’re privileged to have internationally renowned sweet pea breeder, Dr Keith Hammett, providing about 30 different cultivars for our November festival,” says Cheryl.

“Keith will also lead two tours as part of the Garden Party on November 24 (11.30am and 2.30pm), which will be fascinating for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.”

Last year Highwic achieved Garden of Significance status with the New Zealand Gardens Trust, and the Sweet Pea Festival and Garden Party will give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the sights and scents of some early blooms in this beautiful heritage setting.

There will also be flower arrangements throughout the house and a special sand saucer competition for children.

“The Highwic Sweet Pea Festival and Garden Party is shaping up to be a wonderful late-spring event that will appeal to everyone who enjoys the delights of a beautifully kept garden,” she says.

“And on November 24 we’ll be welcoming people to our garden party as part of the festival – complete with café, live music, mezze platters and prize for best dressed hat.”

Don’t miss Highwic’s Sweet Pea Festival and Garden Party, November 23 and 24 (Garden Party takes place on November 24).

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