Gardening is like landscape painting

Insider's Guide to the Festival
with Liz French

The Garden Trail is the backbone of every festival and while there may be a myriad of other events at the festival without our gardeners we have no festival.

The gardeners who share their private domains with the public for the festival do so out of their own generosity.

The reward is the joy they give to festival visitors; and maybe having a deadline by which to get the garden shipshape for spring.

I have visited every garden on the Garden Trail and I never cease to be amazed by the passion, creativity and sheer hard work that goes into making a garden.

Gardeners are artists too, their canvas constantly tended and ever evolving.

My admiration is probably enhanced by my personal approach to gardening being an ‘attack and burn' one aimed at getting the job done rather than enjoying the process.

My front garden always looks okay, but things gradually deteriorate from the back. There's none of that in our festival gardens. They have felt the love and responded to the care.

As spring starts springing and the NZ Garden & Art Festival looms closer, the participating gardeners will be gearing up for a busy few weeks to deliver gardens they can be proud of and we can be grateful for.

Even though I've seen all the gardens I love viewing them during the festival. So join me by buying your Garden Trail tickets at Ticketek, Baycourt or at local outlets around the region.

Early bird prices are available till the end of September.

See more at www.nzgardenandartfest.co.nz

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Silhouetted sunrise on July 14th. Photo: Janet Hetherington

Send us your photos from around the Bay of Plenty. kendra@thesun.co.nz