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New gardens bloom for Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular

16 August 2012

New gardens bloom for Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Visitors to this year’s Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular will enjoy three new gardens, and the return of three favourites including a new Garden of Significance in the festival.

Hofmans Garden in Eltham has just gained “Garden of Significance” status as rated by the New Zealand Garden Trust meaning there are now 11 Gardens of Significance in this year’s event including one of International Significance and six of National Significance.

Hofmans Garden is an expansive country garden featuring meandering lawn avenues leading to a quaint walking bridge over a babbling brook, native wetland areas, mature exotic specimens, and a wide variety of colourful rhododendron specimens. There are also formal aspects to the garden with delightful garden rooms; a wisteria entwined trellis walkway, as well as contemporary garden art.

Hofmans is one of three other spectacular gardens returning to the festival in its 25th year – including Ngamamaku with its exquisite Japanese garden, Nikau Grove renowned for its mature native nikau palms, and The Yews – a traditional style garden designed to suit the grand Victorian villa on the property.

New gardens in the 51-garden line up in this year’s 10-day Festival running from October 26 to November 4 include Oak Valley and Sentiments Garden, both in New Plymouth, as well as Valentia in Okato on the Taranaki coast.

Oak Valley has been in development for the last 15 years and features a unique chamomile lawn creating a fragrant scent when walked upon. The romance in this garden continues with ponds and water features with Romanesque statues, and rows of elegantly shaped camellias.

Meanwhile, Sentiments Garden draws its inspiration from an interpretation of a gold medal winning garden in the 2010 Chelsea flower show. Its exotic plant-scape includes dense groupings of sub-tropical trees, impressive mature succulents and flowering plants. Bold, contemporary sculptures can be discovered in the garden designed for contemplation.

Valentia creates a tranquil country garden setting around a two-storey, century-old villa. Formal in nature, the garden abounds with flowering varietals from roses to rhododendrons as well as water features, garden ornaments, as well as box hedging and herbaceous borders.

This year’s line-up of gardens ranges from the sub-tropical to the sub-alpine, and from the ornamental to the oriental, says festival manager, Lisa Ekdahl.

“In our 25th year, we are presenting Taranaki’s finest gardens to stimulate the senses and inspire the gardener in everyone,” says Lisa.

“A mild winter with a healthy balance of sunshine and rain means we are looking forward to gardens being in spectacular Spring bloom in time for the festival.”

The Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular will also feature a range of guest speakers and events for visitors to enjoy in between visiting gardens.

“Virtually every day of the festival there will be a choice of guided walks, tours, demonstrations, seminars or workshops with guest speakers such as media personalities Lynda Hallinan and Tony Murrell,” reveals Lisa.

“Fresh events have also been programmed to mark our 25th year including a stunning Spring Fashion in the Garden show to Frocks on Bikes!”

And this year’s unique Landscape Design Project supported with funding from the TSB Community Trust will be “The Peranakan Lights”. A fascinating artistic fusion from South-East Asia, the Lights are inflated, illuminated shapes screen printed with designs of traditional Peranakan art - renowned for its rich and opulent designs in ceramics, embroidery, screen-printing and architecture.

Some 50 lights will be installed in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in the area known as the Brooklands Lawn enabling anyone to come and enjoy what will be an impressive first for New Zealand.

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