Rose Webb and Marc Anderson.
Visitors to the Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival in November are in for an exciting and vibrant celebration of art, music and gardens.
From Katikati to Te Puke, the festival celebrates and showcases the passion and talent of gardeners, designers, musicians and artists. Over four days, trees, flower beds, shrubs and lawns will be viewed, admired and discussed.
More than 70 gardens, and the work of more than 100 artists, will be on display from Thursday November 15 to Sunday November 18.
“The Garden and Art Festival has three main components,” says festival director Marc Anderson. “There’s the Garden and Art Trail, Bloom in the Bay and The Long Lunch.
“The festival has been going for 21 years. It was started by a group of enthusiastic people who wanted to share inspiring gardens and art around our region with the public. And it’s grown since then.
“It’s important to recognise the work that has been done before us - and it’s definitely building.”
Marc came on board as festival director in February 2017, with Rose Webb joining him as event coordinator around six months ago.
“There’s been great work done by people before us and we’re following that on,” adds Marc, who along with Rose comes from an event management background.
“Together with the Festival Trust Board, we are focussed on continuing the success of this magnificent event.
“We want to make sure it lasts for another 20 years at least! Meeting the many inspiring and hardworking gardeners and seeing what they do has been fantastic for us, and we realise how many dedicated and creative people there are in this area. We just want to help show them off.”
Garden and Art Trail
One and four-day ticket options are on offer, providing the opportunity to organise a packed day or enjoy a leisurely journey around the gardens over four days.
The full trail spans from Katikati to Te Puke, with four general location areas colour-coded green, yellow, red and blue to assist participants with planning their tour around gardens close to each other.
In the blue trail, which extends from Katikati to Bethlehem, some gardens like Lorraine Browne’s Gallery on Mulgan in Katikati will feature a refreshment or coffee stop. Lorraine has a garden studio amongst the camellias and box hedging, and her husband Glenn will be displaying his wood turning.
At Raywyn and Gary Cook’s Rivahaven garden, which sweeps across rolling land down into native forest, Gary will be demonstrating plant music.
On the yellow trail, which covers Matua, Otumoetai and central Tauranga, the range of gardens to be viewed includes beachside, subtropical, woodland, cottage and rose gardens. There’s a waterfall, fire pit, vineyard, outdoor bar, various vegetables, a food forest, rare pre-war motorcycles, gazebos, a wine deck, potager, dry stone wall, courtyards, Italian and Japanese themes, palms and historically significant buildings – there is so much to see.
The red trail takes the garden enthusiast on a tour of gardens in Greerton, Tauriko, Pyes Pa, Oropi, Ohauiti and Welcome Bay.
The green trail delights with sub-tropical gardens at Mount Maunganui, through to coastal gardens in Papamoa, and then captivating lush, formal, informal and country gardens in Te Puke.
There’s redwoods, rare plants, native birds, rose-covered pergolas and large flower beds – and there is even a night garden which the owners may invite visitors to return to later in the day when the sun has set.
All through these four colourway trails, there are over 100 artists displaying their work. Peter Cramond and Wayne Vickers, both in Papamoa, and Lynne Brown in Tauriko are possibly more art than garden, showcasing stunning sculptures and paintings.
Others provide refreshments, cold drinks, coffee, soap workshops, cafés and a hot rod car display. One garden will even have a string quartet playing.
Bloom in the Bay
Back at Tauranga’s Historic Village, the festival hub known as Bloom in the Bay will be a buzzing exuberance of floral art, cooking, music, speakers, workshops, presentations, exhibitions and bands. A pop-up vegetable garden from Toi Ohomai will showcase student’s work, local musicians will take to the stage in the village green and displays of sculptures and art will pack out the available buildings and surrounds at the village. The Kids Zone will also be bursting with fun activities.
The Long Lunch
Hon. Maggie Barry will host The Long Lunch at Mills Reef on Sunday, November 18 on the fourth and final day of the festival, where there will be a guest appearance from Maggie’s good friend Ruud Kleinpaste.
Promising fun banter and humour between them, the pair will bring a wonderful close to the festival, enhanced by the singing talent of Caitriona Fallon.
“The festival is a good opportunity for people to experience really magnificent gardens and creative arts,” says Marc. “For our gardeners and artists, it’s a great opportunity to showcase what they’ve done and to share their work.
“People can drive around with a map and go to the gardens, but we’ve also got a shuttle bus that’s going to leave the Historic Village at 9.30am and visit a selection of gardens.”
More information about booking the shuttle and purchasing Garden and Art Festival and The Long Lunch tickets can be found at: www.gardenandartfestival.co.nz
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