Coming up …

Spring must be springing as the calendar starts to fill up with garden-related activities in the beautiful Bay of Plenty (pouring with rain today, but never mind).

The Rotorua Tulip Festival is a week-long event that starts on Saturday – some of the events are more garden-related than others, but there are things for all the family to enjoy. The organisers have kindly invited me to a cooking demonstration by Michael Van de Elzen, The Food Truck chef and now resident on Kiwi Living, so keep an eye out for a report on that plus, if the weather’s kind, some garden photos.


Here are a few things on the festival programme that sound good to me (as well as strolling around the more than 100,000 flowering tulip bulbs):

October 1 Plants and Trees of Government Gardens, 11am & 1pm, free but limited to 20 people so reservations essential.

October 2 City Tulips Bike Tour, 10am, $35. Group limited to 10 so bookings essential. Repeated October 3, 7 and 9.

October 3 Daltons Plantation and Homestead Gardens Bus Tour, 10.30am from Rotorua, $60. Repeated October 6.

October 3 The Design of Government Gardens, a walking tour with landscape architect Mel Cameron, 2pm, free but places limited so please book.

October 4 Plenty Flora and Sandara Gardens Bus tour, 10.30am from Rotorua, $39. Repeated October 8.

October 4 Caring for your Rhododendrons with Dave Stewart from Rhodohill, 11am,  free.

October 5 Tours of Plenty Flora Gerbera Greenhouse, 10am & 2pm, Horohoro (near Rotorua), free.

October 5 Xanthe White’s Gardening Tips and Tricks, 1pm, $15, bookings essential.

October 5 The Design of Government Gardens, a walking tour with landscape architect Mel Cameron, 2pm, free but places limited so please book.

October 6 Edible Gardens Talk, 3pm, free.

October 8 Behind the Scenes at NZ Gardener with Jo McCarroll, 11am, $15.

Tauranga area events over the same period include:

October 2 Tauranga Clivia Show, noon-4pm, Te Puna Quarry Park Gallery (near Tauranga), free. Flowering plants on display, plants for sale, growing advice.


Kiwi Star is a clivia bred by Judy Shapland of Apata, near Tauranga. Photo: Sandra Simpson

October 2 Tauranga Camellia Show, opens 1pm, Bob Owens Retirement Village, 112 Carmichael Rd, Bethlehem. gold coin entry (proceeds to Heart Foundation), complimentary refreshments. Ph Janet 579 2519.

October 4 Patio Containers & Hanging Baskets, 7.30pm, Palmers Bethlehem (Tauranga), free but spaces are limited so book by phoning 07 579 3925 or email. Repeated October 6.

October 8 Life’s a Circus, 4.30pm, Baycourt Theatre, Tauranga, $55. “A floral theatre presentation featuring Francine Thomas.” Donation to Waipuna Hospice from the profits. Tickets from Baycourt. Inquiries to Fay.

And just a little further afield …

October 1 Plant Sale, 10am-4pm, outside the information centre, Hamilton Gardens.

October 1 Northern Daffodil Club Late Show, noon-4pm, Hamilton Gardens.

October 1 Free Home Composting Workshop, 3-4.30pm, Taupo Community Gardens.

October 8 St Francis Plant Sale, 9am-1pm, 92 Mansel Rd, Hillcrest, Hamilton. Plants, books, garden accessories, baking. Bring secateurs or clippers for sharpening. Contact: 07 854 7662.

October 8 Home Gardening Workshop, 9am-5pm, Thames, $144 (includes lunch). Tutors Harry Parke & Yotam Kay.

October 9-14 Living with the Land, with Sheryn Clothier, Tirau (Waikato), $750.

Hope you find something to take your fancy!


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