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Well known for passionate gardeners, eccentricity and art, it is natural that Canterbury is home to some of New Zealand's most unique and beautiful gardens. During the spring the region comes alive with vivid greens, yellows, purples, whites and reds. Immediately clear is the fact that the locals here take enormous pride in their gardens - bouquets of colour are carefully organised amongst well considered landscapes, all accented with tasteful artworks.
Unsurprisingly, the warm country hospitality that kiwis are famous for opens the door to the many (otherwise hidden) creations to which these passionate gardeners have dedicated so much. Skilful assemblages of bright perennials are a common sight amongst the vivid green foliage and soft bloom of camellias and rhododendrons. Many gardens integrate artworks and sculpture as well as the tranquility that only water can offer in the form of lily ponds, gently cascading streams and understated fountains. Most of these gardens are designated Nationally Significant by the New Zealand Gardening Trust.
Here are a handful of the gardens you are sure to admire while visiting Canterbury.
The Tichborne's Garden, Akaroa
French Farm is the home of Nancy and Bryan Tichborne and their fabulous garden. Nearly two decades in the making and meandering across eleven acres of farmland, this landscape is awash with colour and diversity. The garden is home to numerous varieties of both natives and exotics, not to mention the song of thriving bird life. Nancy is also well known for her beautiful watercolours and can often be found beside her easel.
The Trott's Garden, Ashburton
Welcome to the home of Alan Trott, renowned nurseryman and cultivator of another truly magical kiwi garden. Endless varieties of dogwoods, magnolias and maples are further glamorised by the ever graceful rhododendrons and vibrant azaleas. Curving pathways yield constant surprises as you admire the ensemble of spring blossoms and peruse woodland plantings, formal English landscaping and tasteful water gardens.
Akanui Farm Homestead, Akanui
Join your hosts Di and Ian Mackenzie at their magnificent, character-rich homestead and gardens. At over 100 years old, this homestead oozes charm and perfectly complements the exceptional outdoor surroundings. To add to its authenticity, this home is constructed from bricks fired at the local kiln and dressed in beautiful native Rimu wood. Di takes enormous pride in the upkeep and improvement of their mature ornamental and vegetable gardens which will no doubt be the source of many items on the menu.
MoaTrek’s Canterbury Springtime Gardens & Culverden Christmas Country Fete small group tour incorporates these gardens as well as the many other cultural and floral delights found in this region. You’ll enjoy country hospitality, private farmhouse lunches and spectacular gardens at their springtime best. Find out more on our website, or contact us directly.
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