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