Garden trail – day 2

Bitsy day today as I went to gardens in Mt Maunganui and Papamoa this morning then came home to write a piece for the daily (unpaid, naturally) and sort out a couple of photos. That done I headed over to beyond Te Puke. I was planning to see two on the same road but a friend I met in the first one recommended a cottage-type garden a bit further out so I took her advice and was glad I did. Beds bursting with flowers, flowers, flowers … and a beautiful afternoon tea at a reasonable price (Dianne had recommended that too!).

The Speaker Series starts tomorrow at The Lakes hub, as does the floral art exhibition and one or two other fun-sounding temporary installations such as the Suspended Forest and the display gardens. And all the gardens are open from tomorrow to Sunday, so nothing to stop you. Read full details here.


Kaylene Don’s Mt Maunganui townhouse may have a tiny site but she and landscape designer Michelle McDonnell have given it interest – here are stripes of heucheras and mondo with a miniature bougainvillea in the pot. Photo: Sandra Simpson


St Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners, beside Kaylene Don’s raised vege garden and a vertical patch of herbs and edible flowers. Photo: Sandra Simpson


A quiet corner (note the panels of Balinese stone work, much jealousy from me) in the garden of Leigh Nicholas, who is also exhibiting her photography on site. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Hidden away in the tropical growth in Leigh’s garden is an outdoor shower! Photo: Sandra Simpson


A visit to Ron and Pat Howie’s Te Puke garden is to be blown away by the unusual plants – this is the (large) flower of Magnolia macrophylla, native to the southeastern US and eastern Mexico. Ron has pulled the branch down for me with a rake. Photo: Sandra Simpson


Spent ages in the Howie garden trying to get a decent shot of this striking flower – Passiflora antioquiensis (red banana passionfruit, nowhere near as vigorous as the banana passionfruit). Photo: Sandra Simpson

Read more about Magnolia macrophylla and Passiflora antioquiensis.


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