Noteworthy Canterbury Gardens

Christchurch and Canterbury - the region of gardens.

Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Located in the heart of Christchurch and a much loved jewel of the city. The Christchurch Botanic Gardens feature one the finest collections of exotic and native New Zealand plants in the country. With 500,000 recorded visitors each year, the Botanic Gardens are one of Christchurch’s most visited public spaces. Colourful herbaceous borders and some of the tallest and largest trees in the country make the gardens a must do! The Armstrong Lawn within the gardens is home to the well photographed Peacock Fountain, originally imported from England and installed in the gardens in the early 1900s. The Curator’s House is another key feature of the Armstrong Lawn. Built in 1920 as the home of the gardens curator. The house is constructed from volcanic basalt rock from the Port Hills Quarry in the Old English or Tudor style of architecture.

The Curator’s House is now a fantastic restaurant showcasing fresh local produce. The edible gardens at the homestead produce herbs, fruit and vegetables. Gardeners can learn about companion planting, crop rotation and composting at the Curator’s House demonstration gardens.

Caterpillar Garden Tours

A great way to discover the Christchurch Botanic Gardens is to jump aboard the Caterpillar Gardens Tour. The electric powered shuttle provides a hop-on-hop-off service allowing visitors to enjoy the extensive and fascinating commentary provided on-board with the opportunity to explore the gardens in more depth at leisure. Be sure to enjoy a coffee and some retail therapy at the new Visitor Centre.


It’s hard to believe that 45 years ago Flaxmere was once a sheep farm, the bold, well thought-out garden design looks like it’s never been anything other than a notable country garden. This ‘Garden of National Significance’ is located 10km from Harwarden, North Canterbury and just over an hour from Christchurch. The garden is expansive, framing the mountain backdrop and creating an element of surprise at every turn. A series of five ponds and extensive areas of native plants, woodlands, roses and rhododendrons create areas of peace and serenity.

The garden is planted to evolve with every season. Spring brings a sea of yellow with mass daffodil plantings and summer highlights the vast colour and variety of roses. The garden was developed with autumn in mind highlighting dramatic displays of red, yellow and orange colours. In the winter the garden is peaceful, asleep and at one with the mountain vista.

Flaxmere is also home to the annual Art in a Garden exhibition considered to be one of the very best indoor/outdoor exhibitions of its kind in the South Island and showcasing a vast range of artwork, garden sculptures and pottery. Flaxmere is open by appointment only and morning, afternoon tea and lunch can be provided with prior arrangement.

Fishermans Bay Garden

A superb example of how once rugged farmland can be converted into an idyllic multi-level garden. Taking advantage of the dramatic coastlines of Banks Peninsula the garden boasts a spectrum of colour, texture, long flower borders and sculptures, including 100 hectares of regenerating protected native bush. The gardens are best viewed late summer, bookings are required.

Trotts Garden

Garden of National Significance located in Ashburton. Trott’s is a carefully planned and considered garden incorporating woodlands, stream, bog garden and pond, and a formal garden. In the woodland garden there are 50 different species of magnolia, 70 different kinds of maple and 40 different varieties of the dogwood family. The formal garden is grand and structured with large hedging and long borders and impressive topiaries.

The Giant’s House – Artist’s Garden

The Giant’s House is a must see on any visit to Akaroa. The magical and striking garden is filled with colourful oversized mosaic sculptures. There are surprises around every corner, including a giant piano, terraced gardens, extraordinary wall mosaics and steps, welded steel sculptures as well rose, vegetable and citrus gardens.


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