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100 days to go to Christchurch’s most exciting new Festival

11 December 2019

100 days to go to Christchurch’s most exciting new Festival – Grow Ō Tautahi

With just 100 days to go to the first-ever Grow Ō Tautahi Christchurch Garden Festival, the list of events and activities is growing with something to appeal to everyone.

Grow Ō Tautahi Festival Director Sandi MacRae says the team behind the event is excited to bring this free event to the local community for the first time in March next year.

“We’re creating a new, homegrown garden festival that will really have something for everyone in the garden city. We aim to reflect the newest and most innovative ideas in gardening, sustainability, science, cooking and community trends,” she says.

Over three days from 20-22 March 2020, the Christchurch Botanic Gardens will host the festival with free entry to the public. The team involved is still growing, with new events and activities coming on board that will appeal to all ages and interests.

For the family

The Treetech Kidzone is a special area dedicated to children and families. There will be a tree-climbing activity, the sandpit “Big Dig” for buried treasure, a colouring competition with daily prizes and a NZ native tree identification game. The schools garden exhibition will showcase emerging garden talent from Canterbury primary and intermediate schools, and there will also be entertainment from local artists and musicians and great food on offer.

Friends and family can also explore the community garden – an inclusive design involving 32 of the city’s community gardens working together. There will be living furniture for selfie-taking and sharing in an interactive space that reflects the collaborative nature of community gardening.

For the foodie

Food Ambassador Jax Hamilton and Jonny Schwass from the Ilex are cooking-up an exciting event for lovers of good food and locally sourced products. They’ll run the Garden Kitchen, a modular design by award-winning kitchen designer Davinia Sutton, and welcome a rolling guest-list of top chefs to take part in a “mystery box” challenge. Kaikoura Cheese’s Daniel Jenkins, Alex Davies of Gatherings Inati’s Simon Levy, Flip Grater, Jackie Hendricks from Asiatique, Fleur Sullivan of Fleurs Place, Simo Abbari, Town Tonic’s Jamie Bennett, The Monday Room’s Eeva Torvinen, the Two Raw Sisters Margo and Rosa, and Giuilo Sturla will all take on the challenge to create culinary delights from locally sourced, raw ingredients.

Jonny Schwass will also be offering food and catering from the Ilex Café, including fun picnic hampers that visitors can pick up on the day to keep them going during the festival or take home.

For the beginner gardener

Beginner Gardening Ambassador Julia Atkinson-Dunn will run a series of panel discussions where beginner gardeners can learn tips and tricks from the experts. Exploring an aspect of gardening that isn’t often covered in expert publications, focusing on getting started at home for those with little to no gardening knowledge. No question will be too big or too small to tackle – from “I’ve just bought my first house and I want a garden – where do I start”, to “what’s the difference between an annual and perennial and why does it matter?”

For the flower-lover

The Botanical Marquee will be filled with spectacular displays along with ideas for growing all sorts of plants and produce, while the Moffatts Floral Fiesta will have fresh flowers for sale, a floral photo wall, as well as workshops and demonstrations showing off the knowledge and expertise of commercial growers and the florists.

For the eco-conscious

Science Ambassador Trevor Stuthridge of AgResearch is leading the festival’s focus on technology, innovation and environmental trends. Lincoln University and Environment Canterbury are coming together to explore the latest topics in sustainability and innovation. With input from young scientists, workshops and panel sessions will explore issues that are critical to our environment right now – keep an eye out for more detail on topics and sessions coming soon! Visitors will also learn about sustainable gardening, production and culinary practices from those in the know.

For the garden expert

Our Design Ambassador Dan Rutherford, an international award-winning exhibitor, is leading a team of designers who will showcase the latest in garden design trends and innovation. Garden lovers will revel in the original work on display at the exhibition gardens, floral and botanical marquees, and be able to speak directly with garden and design experts. Terra Viva will be providing hands-on learning and demonstration workshops and you’ll find fantastic landscaping ideas at Urban Paving’s Landscape Lane.

For those who know nothing about gardening!

Grow Ō Tautahi has been created to offer something to everyone and reflect the interests of the local community. Let’s face it, who doesn’t enjoy sitting in nature and eating great food? Even if you don’t have a single green finger, there will be fun activities, great entertainment, engaging conversations and spectacular displays to enjoy for free in the heart of Christchurch.

Grow Ō Tautahi, 20-22 March 2020

FREE at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens, with pop-up events at other central city locations.


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