Garden festival milestone

This year, Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular will celebrate 30 years on its 10-day festival from 27 October to 5 November

Taranaki’s long-running garden festival is heading towards a spectacular milestone—its 30-year anniversary.

Taranaki -Pukekura -Park

From a community rhododendron event to a fully-fledged festival, the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular attracts a passionate following of local and international visitors, with up to 70 percent from outside Taranaki in 2016.

The festival, which runs from 27 October to 5 November, will feature 47 gardens, the Mitre 10 Frida Floral Fiesta at the White Hart Hotel, and a new section highlighting art in gardens, festival manager Leigh Gatward-Cook says.

"There will be a lot of amazing painters and sculptors, from Marianne Muggeridge to Terry Stringer."

The full events calendar will include entertainment, house and garden, and Chapman-Taylor tours, and the Gardena garden speaker series.

There is also a floral art show, a sustainable backyard event, and the landscape design project. This year’s design project is Radiant Garden by acclaimed digital artist Tim Gruchy. Inspired by the lush landscapes of Taranaki, his work will be projected on to the TAFT building on Brougham St each evening during the festival.

But the stars of the 10-day festival are the glorious gardens Taranaki has to offer, Leigh says. With deep roots, the festival began 30 years ago as a community garden event and has bloomed, according to Elaine Gill, who was the driving force behind the first rhododendron festival in 1987. 

At its height, there were about 100 open gardens and trains brought people down from Auckland for the festival.

Source: Tourism New Zealand

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