Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular

Festival Blog

Oct 11, 2016

Garden Profile: Chris and Jenness Hegley, Hegley Garden

 

1.What is your must-have plant in the garden?

The kowhai trees which attract tui, kereru and fantails along with the gorgeous sounds they produce.

 

2.How do you keep your garden looking fresh?

By regular hand weeding and lawn care, coupled with annuals and bulb planting

 

3.Tell us about a magical moment in the garden?

Our experiences are more ones of satisfaction and pleasure, rather than magical – especially when we are able to make our own apricot and plum jam, we are able to eat our own produce, or even the propagation of gold fish in our own back yard.

 

4.What is your favourite garden tool?

Our petrol-powered lawn edger, which gives the lawn that final clean-cut look.

 

5.Best gardening tip?

Have three compost bins, which allows for binning, turning and using of compost on a consistent basis.

 

6.Describe how you feel when you're gardening.

Relaxed, stress free and with a clear, uncluttered mind allowing for the sounds of nature to take over.

 

7.How did you get into gardening?

Through parental enthusiasm and being fortunate enough to purchase a section which enables one to consistently garden in a relaxing environment.

 

8.Where do your garden ideas stem from?

Three areas: Parental influence, overseas travel amongst the world’s best and personal choice.

 

9.Why do you garden?

For pleasure, for relaxation, for the produce we can grow and for the personal pride that comes from developing a worthwhile setting in which we live.

 

10.Briefly describe your garden.

A relaxing area of colour developed through mixed plantings, native and deciduous trees and shrubs, and interesting features confined within split stone terracing and crazy paving footpaths.


Sep 22, 2016

Garden profile: Phyllis Malcolm, Lockinge, Kapuni

 

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?

Roses.

 

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?

By changing things around. Adding new plants, pots, etc, but still keeping the structure.

 

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden?

When we went to Inglewood to get a pair of black swans for the lake in the garden, they looked so graceful in their new home.

 

4. What is your favourite garden tool?

Handfork.

 

5. Best gardening tip?

Feed your soil, especially in the spring, and it will reward you with flowers and lush foliage. I like to use Nitrophoska Blue fertiliser, and old silage. 

 

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.

I get into a world of my own, lots of time to relax and think.

 

7. How did you get into gardening?

As a child I have always liked flowers, dreamed in my thirties I could have a garden like Gwyn Masters, not thinking it would ever be possible.

 

8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?

I have always liked to be creative, and ideas usually stem from plant foliage, forms, textures, sometimes an old farm relic will give me an idea,

 

9. Why do you garden?

I just like the outdoors and to see how nature is changing the garden over the seasons.

 

10. Briefly describe your garden

A peaceful, woodland garden. Mature trees surrounding a natural flowing lake, where birds just love to sing.


Sep 13, 2016

Garden profile: Maria van der Poel, the Van Der Poel Garden, Warea

 

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?

Lemon tree. 

 

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?

Lots of deadheading and trimming. 

 

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden?

Springtime is magical. And a friend’s wedding in the garden. 

 

4. What is your favourite garden tool?

Niwashi. Best tool ever. 

 

5. Best gardening tip?

Don't close yourself in. Make sure you can see your garden from inside. 

 

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.

I love to garden because I can just get away from everything. To be as creative as I can. 

 

7. How did you get into gardening?

I was not always a fan, having to do my parents garden sometimes as a kid, I used to think it was horrible. But I'm sure that instilled the love of being outdoors. And eventually the love of gardening. 

 

8.  Where do your garden ideas stem from?

My ideas comes from trying colours and providing food. 

 

9.  Why do you garden?

Because I love it. 

 

10. Briefly describe your garden.

A large, quiet country garden that provides lots of fruit and vegetables. 


Aug 29, 2016

Chris Paul, Tainui Close

 

Photo Credit: Jane Dove Juneau 

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?

Camellia sasanqua varieties for colour and interest in autumn and winter.

 

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?

By changing things around all the time there are always more projects to do.

 

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 

When the tui feed from the flax bush.

 

4. What is your favourite garden tool?

Secateurs.

 

5. Best gardening tip?

Take time to sit and enjoy.

 

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.

Productive.

 

7. How did you get into gardening?

Life-long love.

 

8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?

My head is jam packed with ideas.

 

9. Why do you garden?

So I can see what I have achieved at the end of the day. 

 

10. Briefly describe your garden. 

Slightly eclectic landscape designer’s non-designer garden.


Aug 12, 2016

Valda Poletti, Te Kainga Marire, New Plymouth

1.What is your must-have plant in the garden?
That’s really hard but I’d choose the filmy ferns, Hymenophyllum demissum. Then there’s the nikau – you name it.

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?
God’s doing that at the moment with the rain. Just appreciating the high Taranaki rainfall really.

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden?
Sometimes early in the morning when we have tui waking up and talking to each other and at dusk when they are saying goodnight to each other and they are all chatting.

4.What is your favourite garden tool?
The most used tool would be my ARS secateurs.

5.Best gardening tip?
Keep trimming and feeding.

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.
Peaceful and at one with the earth.

7.How did you get into gardening?
It’s a genetic package – you start when you are knee high to a blade of grass.                     

8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
They are really from Tane Mahuta and from wild New Zealand

9.Why do you garden?
To create a beautiful space around you. On a rainy day I’m looking out at Chatham Island forget-me-nots, hebes, collospermum, mamaku and tui and the river. It’s a horrible wet day and it’s beautiful.

10. Briefly describe your garden.
A controlled wilderness using a wide representation of New Zealand flora. For an international visitor or gardener they can come to see a reasonable range of New Zealand native plants in a small town garden. It’s an absolutely New Zealand garden.


Aug 2, 2016

Alan Morris, Pukemara, New Plymouth

 

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?

Definitely a rhodo or a vireya.

 

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?

By planting species that flower at different times during the year. Also the planting of annuals.

 

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 

Probably the comments made by the public during the festival.

 

4. What is your favourite garden tool?

My late Mother’s gardening trowel. I would be devastated if I lost that.

 

5. Best gardening tip?

Best tip given to me was from Mr (John) Kenyon on how to prune a vireya.

 

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.

Totally relaxed and at peace with the world!!  Also gives me quiet time to think through problems etc.

 

7. How did you get into gardening?

My parents were very keen gardeners so I naturally grew up amongst flowers and vegetables.

 

8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?

Some from books and magazines. But I do get inspiration from some of our larger public gardens.

 

9. Why do you garden?

Purely for pleasure.

 

10. Briefly describe your garden. 

A garden “of two halves”. The top half is a courtyard with garden and container planting. The other half is hillside with mature trees and under planting.


Jul 27, 2016

Mary Dickson, Hawera

 

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden? 
Impossible to choose – I only grow what I like.

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh? 
By weeding, trimming back, watering and feeding.

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 
When I can sit back and admire and see nothing needs attending to urgently.

4. What is your favourite garden tool? 
Secateurs and spade.

5. Best gardening tip? 
Too many to mention.

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening. 
When you can look forward to seeing what you have achieved.

7. How did you get into gardening?
Probably inherited from my mother also neighbours & friends.
8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
Reading gardening books and magazines and visiting other gardens.

9. Why do you garden? 
My creative mind will not go away.

10. Briefly describe your garden. 
A small town garden that I created, displaying years of collecting precious plants, and have had the pleasure of arranging them all to grow happily.


Jul 22, 2016

Festival a time to escape into nature

 

 

 

 

Visiting the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular gives people the chance to be nurtured by nature, says festival manager Lisa Ekdahl.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to focus on the beauty of our world as an antidote to the things we have no control over,” she says.

This year’s festival, launched in New Plymouth on July 20, features 45 glorious gardens dotted all around Mt Taranaki. It runs from October 28 to November 6.

Of these open gardens, 10 are new properties. “The fact we have 10 new gardens helps keep the festival fresh and the fact that the other gardens have longevity gives the festival depth,” Ekdahl says. “We have got a good mix of experience and vitality.”

Ekdahl says gardeners are nurtured by the garden and vice versa, so when people visit one, they in turn are nurtured.

“Dr Richard Benfield, who spoke at the New Zealand Gardens Trust conference and studies garden tourism, said that gardens affect all our senses for positive value.”

In keeping with that is the landscape design project, Lost Paradise, created by Plantation’s Michael Mansvelt. “That fits in quite nicely with the idea of being nurtured and escaping,” Ekdahl says.

Lost Paradise involves embellishing an already beautiful area in the Totara Dell at Pukekura Park to create a paradise-like space, which invites viewers to use all their senses.

“People can ponder what paradise truly means to them.”

New this year, will be a festival hub based in the White Hart courtyard, where people can buy tickets, get help planning their itinerary and learn what else Taranaki has to offer.

“I think this year it’s about encouraging people to connect with each other and what they can do to sustain our environment,” Ekdahl says.

Intertwined with the open gardens are a variety of events, including a night with TVNZ food host, Michael Van de Elzen, the in-demand Chapman-Taylor tours and a house and garden tour.

“That’s capitalising on people’s desire to peep behind doors. As human beings we are all quite inquisitive aren’t we?” Ekdahl says.

Other events, include the garden speaker series featuring seedkeeper Jodi Roebuck on bio-diversity, Jenny Oakley on propagating and hanging baskets,  Alan Morris on hillside gardening and florist Pip Jones on creating a terrarium.

The life-changing and uplifting movie, Polyfaces, is also being played in the Len Lye Centre. Innovative farmer Joel Salatin, whose family the movie is about, says: “As the problems of the world become more and more complex, the solutions become clear and simple.”

There’s also Frocks on Bikes, an event where women embellish themselves and their bikes for a cycling event.

For people keen on bees, Canadian botanist Dr Linda Newstrom-Lloyd will be speaking on two separate occasions about what to plant in your garden to attract the much-needed pollinators.

Newstrom-Lloyd, from Trees for Bees, was the guest speaker for the festival launch, where she spoke about the plight of bees. “We can’t replace the honey bee fast enough.”

A New Zealand survey shows there is a 12 per cent colony loss each year.

The best way to prevent bees and their colonies from dying is good nutrition, which means planting the right vegetation for them to feed on. “If you have healthy nourished bees, they are going to be able to cope with these other threats – the pests, pathogens and pesticides.”

She also talked about the importance of maintaining plant diversity to give bees a choice of food. 

But she doesn’t support the idea of everyone keeping bees. If people do choose to have a hive they must invest in educating themselves by joining a beekeeping club, otherwise there could be more problems with the spread of disease and pests.

“The solution is if everybody, everywhere, plants for bees,” Newstrom-Lloyd says.

Powerco Chief Executive Nigel Barbour says the company is also focused on the environment.

“Powerco is proud to support the communities we serve. The Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular is an event which attracts visitors and positive attention to the region and fits well with our focus on environmental excellence,” he says.

“The Taranaki Arts Festival Trust team has grown the Powerco Taranaki Garden Festival year after year, improving and refining the offering to both locals and visitors alike and in doing so developing a high quality event,” Barbour says.

“Powerco is proud to be involved with this popular and successful event and we look forward to working with TAFT in the future.”


Jul 21, 2016

Garden profile: Chris McCallum, Pendarves House, New Plymouth

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?
I am a leafy girl, I don’t have a particular favourite but truly enjoy the amalgamation of form.


2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?
The garden is pretty good at doing this, it reinvents itself in a seasonal way but gets a helping hand with regular feeding, maintenance and the good ol’ Taranaki climate of sunshine and rain.


3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden?
Magical moments involve bird life. We have a large water ball on the back lawn, which sits in a trough, black birds flapping as they bathe in the trough at the bottom, one always on guard and a family of tiny finches taking turns sitting on the water bubble on top of the ball. Delightful!


4. What is your favourite garden tool?
My favourite tool is an old screw driver – great for loosening soil and getting under weeds, always at hand.


5. Best gardening tip?

The best tip is regular maintenance and if you don’t like it, change it.

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.
How I feel in the garden depends on what I am doing, something creative can be exciting, heavy work exhausting, spraying and weeding somewhat boring, pruning and clipping satisfying but at the end of it all peace and tranquility.


7. How did you get into gardening?
My interest in gardening began insidiously, initially stems from developing and maintaining the properties I have lived in but evolved following years of garden gooping with the gardening girls in my family.


8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
Garden ideas stem from many aspects depending on what I want to achieve including books and magazines, films, travel and talented people I have met.


9. Briefly describe your garden. 
My garden has a contemporary formal style, it is strong structure but softened by generous plantings and a variety of interesting spaces and features. I have enjoyed including garden art with the garden for effect, quirkiness and fun.


Jul 11, 2016

Garden Profile: David Bruce, King Edward Park, Hawera

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?
In this garden it is the Luculia (pictured), because this species has a significant part in the garden’s history. 
2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?
By working at it, treating plants as a crop and being prepared to change them before they and the effect they make become “tired”. 
3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 
Seeing a family sitting at a picnic table at midday in the shade of a tree planted especially for that purpose 5 years before. I.e. seeing things working as planned.
4. What is your favourite garden tool?
A proper rake – with a light head and a handle shaped and mellowed by use. 
5. Best gardening tip?
The best fertiliser is the gardener’s shadow ( Chinese proverb), but gardens are not made, by saying “oh how beautiful” and sitting in the shade. (Rudyard Kipling)
6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.
Essentially I feel enjoyment, pleasure at the process and the anticipation of the outcome – mixed with a touch of apprehension that this thing is bigger than I am, or in this instance, we are - and it could all turn to worms if all the intangibles conspire against us.
7. How did you get into gardening?
I can blame it on the close association, perhaps alliance, of a grandmother and a small boy rather a long time ago. 
8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
Personally, I read, research and observe. In this garden I also listen to the ideas and wishes of others. The ideas are a synthesis of all these factors coupled with rather a long term of practical experience. 
9. Why do you garden?
Because it is what I like and do best. It is not only my vocation but also my hobby and I derive great satisfaction from the seasonal changes, scents, sensations and discoveries that occur in a gardener’s world. 
10. Briefly describe your garden. 
King Edward Park was built to a formal Edwardian design 114 years ago and we work to retain the “bones” and philosophies that were embodied in that design. The park is a collection of gardens linked by a pair of intersecting avenues, each garden in its turn being a collection of plants suited to the region. These collections include formal bedding, Oriental and rose gardens, edible plants used as ornamentals, rhododendron and camellia walks, an arboreal area and more than 20 different hedge species. 
The reflecting beauty of the model boat pond brings another dimension to the park, while the extremely popular children’s playground is complemented by a colour-filled fun garden with “hide and seek” paths and strawberries in season. Not to be overlooked is the superb bronze statue of Wendy, a gift to the children of Hawera by the widow of a former mayor and a unique sister piece to the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens in London.


Jul 10, 2016

Garden profile: Judi Gopperth, Hirst Cottage, New Plymouth

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?
Sissinghurst honesty, white daphne, buxus, white annuals, black mondo, perpetual spinach, herbs and plants that produce food and anything evergreen, white and fragrant.
2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?
Remove struggling plants to plant cemetery area of my garden – they get a second chance. Re-painting garden furniture, lawn maintenance and wet ‘n’ forget.
3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 
Paying the last “hard landscaping bill” – the drive way. Evenings with a glass of wine, sitting in the gazebo watching warm rain nourishing plants.
4. What is your favourite garden tool?
Wonder weeder, hand cultivator and leaf blower.
Leaf blower
5. Best gardening tip?
Washing powder sprinkled on lawns to kill moss. Spray budget bleach on pots, garden furniture, fences to remove green mould. Get the hard landscaping right first, choose plants you like and can grow in given area. Use liquid fertilizer – seaweed, fish oil.
6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.
Driven, exhausted, aching – tolerating the pain before the gain! It’s worth it.
7. How did you get into gardening?
By default! 
8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
Creative imagination, magazines and inspiration – desire to think outside the square – while at the same time needing to be practical, manageable and viable.
9. Why do you garden?
Creative therapy, sense of satisfaction, exercise, outdoors, time to think, desire to create something beautiful and functional. Seeds sown today, nurtured: provide times of immense WOW later – e.g. walking up the path edged with beautifully scented white daphne, picking herbs from the garden, eating from the garden – feast for the senses – visual, smell, taste. I give to my garden and my garden gives back to me.
10. Briefly describe your garden. 
Combination of formal with a twist or two, white on green with a touch of red. Structured, linear and a little quirky in places. Ever green, scented. Modern yet complements historical home established in the 1860s (100-year-plus protected oak trees and gingko). Inner city central quarter-acre section with heritage home steeped in history and ambiance.


Jul 7, 2016

Garden profile: Donna Busby, Stanleigh Garden

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden? 
Only one!!! Rhododendron’s and hostas; my list really could go on…
2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh? 
Changing the plantings, adding new varieties, growing new seedlings, have some very big tubs planted up with annuals that can be moved around and changed over with fresh ones out of the shade house so they’re always looking good.
3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 
All the family birthday celebrations etc. The most magical moment was definitely early this year when our son married his gorgeous girl in the garden. Such a special day. I loved getting the garden ready for the day even down to a surprise heart mown in the paddock for chopper to land on.
4. What is your favourite garden tool? 
My hubby, and at this time of the year (autumn/winter) the Stihl leaf blower.
5. Best gardening tip? 
Don’t let it get away on you. Always keep up to date with maintenance and have your garden to your capabilities. If you’re not going to have time, just stick to very easy care.
6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening. 
It’s my happy place. I love the feeling of creating a beautiful peaceful environment. 
7. How did you get into gardening? 
It’s in the blood, passed down through the generations.
8. Where do your garden ideas stem from? 
Looking through magazines, over the years going through gardens open in the festival. Now it’s changing circumstances, e.g. grandchildren needing a playhouse, events in the garden, or chatting to the helpful people in the garden centres.
9. Why do you garden?
I’m addicted and can’t stop, lol. It’s great exercise and I enjoy the challenge of creating a beautiful garden. I love opening the garden to the public and meeting so many like-minded people. 
10. Briefly describe your garden. 
I like to think of our garden is for all seasons; that there is something interesting, be it flowers, foliage, or even bare trees in the winter. We grow lovely rhodos up under the mountain. We have lots of hostas used as under-planting and borders of perennials and annuals. The pond area is home to our six white ducks, and a huge swing seat to watch them and relax. Rustic wooden rail fences and a gazebo add to the charm of our peaceful country garden. The mountain is a huge backdrop to the garden and makes its presence felt.


Jul 4, 2016

Garden Profile: Jenny Oakley, the Oakley Garden, Manaia

1. What is your must-have plant in the garden?
Xeronema callistemon, Poor Knights Lily – it creates drama.

2. How do you keep your garden looking fresh?
Structural elements need to be replaced over time and this is an opportunity to bring in new design elements, replant tired areas, lots of Bioboost!

3. Tell us about a magical moment in the garden? 
A few years ago a male visitor came up to me during the Festival and said: “I should be aware that I had created something beautiful for people to enjoy and that I should feel great satisfaction with that.” That was a special moment.

4. What is your favourite garden tool?
Niwashi and sharp secateurs.

5. Best gardening tip?
Try not to let weeds set seed. One year’s seeds = seven years’ weeds!

6. Describe how you feel when you're gardening.
I can totally loose myself in my garden. Gardening is so second nature to me that I barely have to think during the process and at the end of a gardening session things somehow always look better.

7. How did you get into gardening?
I have gardened since childhood, starting off with coleus and cacti seeds, on to vegetables etc, etc.

8. Where do your garden ideas stem from?
Generally I see things in other gardens or read about them, and sometimes nature creates very happy accidents.

9. Why do you garden?

I think musicians have to play music, writers write, artists have to create and gardeners have to garden. It’s something very deep within you and life doesn’t seem to flow very well if you haven’t had enough time with your fingers in the soil.

10. Briefly describe your garden.

I think of my garden as barely controlled chaos and Guy, my husband added, “sometimes there is not that much control!” Seriously though, my garden is a mixture of what grows well under our conditions.