Gar­den fes­ti­val is turn­ing 30

North Taranaki Midweek - - WAITARA FOCUS - VIR­GINIA WINDER

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

From a com­mu­nity rhodo­den­dron event to a fully-fledged fes­ti­val, the Pow­erco Taranaki Gar­den Spec­tac­u­lar at­tracts peo­ple from around the world and New Zealand with nearly 70 per cent of vis­i­tors from out­side Taranaki last year.

Also last year, the fes­ti­val gen­er­ated $2.8 mil­lion in GDP in Taranaki, led to 16,130 vis­i­tor nights in ac­com­mo­da­tion and 52,491 vis­its to fes­ti­val gar­dens. Now it’s time to cel­e­brate.

This year’s fes­ti­val will fea­ture 47 gar­dens, the Mitre 10 Frida Flo­ral Fi­esta at the White Hart Ho­tel and a new sec­tion high­light­ing art in gar­dens, says fes­ti­val man­ager Leigh Gat­wardCook.

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

There is a full events cal­en­dar, star­ring Ginette McDon­ald (From Tawa to Haw­era – and Ev­ery­thing In-be­tween), house and gar­den and Chap­man-Tay­lor tours and the Gar­dena gar­den speaker se­ries. The topics cov­ered in the se­ries in­clude New Zealand coastal na­tives, life­style plant­ing, hang­ing bas­kets, prop­a­ga­tion and plant com­bi­na­tions and a gar­dento-vase work­shop.

There is also a flo­ral art show, a sus­tain­able back­yard event and the land­scape de­sign project.

This year’s of­fer­ing 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, which runs from Oc­to­ber 27 to Novem­ber 5, are the glo­ri­ous gar­dens Taranaki has to of­fer, Gat­ward-Cook says.

JANE DOVE JUNEAU

Jenny Oak­ley has had her Manaia gar­den in the fes­ti­val for the en­tire 30 years.

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