Hamilton Gardens has won the 2014 International Garden of the Year award from the annual Garden Tourism Conference, last year held in France.
The conference’s Garden Tourism Awards are presented to organisations and individuals who have distinguished themselves in the development and promotion of the garden experience as a tourism attraction. See the full list of winners here.
The gardens, on the outskirts of the city, are always worth a visit – and with five new gardens planned (the Tropical Garden is the first to have opened, that took place last year, with the Tudor Garden well under way and the Chinoiserie planted) in four years there is plenty going on to draw repeat visitors.
The Tauranga suburb of Greerton is the latest to boast a community garden, but it’s a garden with a difference – built by offenders undertaking community work (previously known as PD or periodic detention). The garden is being used by offenders to grow food that is then used in a cooking course for offenders (not sure if it’s the same ones who are gardening, but that would be helpful). Let’s Get Growing (the group that co-ordinates the highly successful Otumoetai Community Garden) and the Good Neighbours Trust have both helped in the development of the Greerton garden.
A community garden is also planned for Waihi Beach, but as it’s planned for a public reserve, the public gets to have a say. Western Bay of Plenty District Council proposes to lease 850 square metres of Wilson Park for a community garden. Submitters have until 5pm on Monday, January 12 to make their feelings known (support is just as important as objection in these cases). Find the details here.