The Glorious Gardens of Gisborne – The Gisborne Herald
Posted on 04 November 2021 at 11:32 a.m.
The winding and colorful Gisborne Garden & Arts Festival.
The gardens could look the best they’ve ever had after gardeners in the area have dutifully stayed home during Covid-19 shutdowns and taken care of their flowers for the past two years.
Now there is a chance to see all the hard work these gardeners have put in at the winding and colorful Gisborne Garden & Arts Festival.
It has been eight years since the popular event was held, but festival directors Cara Haines and Jo Ware felt the time had come to revive the two-day event.
The Gisborne Garden & Arts Festival was scheduled to be held this Saturday and Sunday, but due to extreme weather conditions the event has been postponed.
The festival has 25 stops throughout Tairāwhiti, including at historic farms and vineyards.
“We are fortunate to have so much talent in this region, and it is a privilege to welcome artists and showcase their work,” said Cara.
“From small gardens to large, formal to coastal, there will be something for everyone to be inspired by, right here in our backyard.”
Most of the gardens have local artists exhibiting, and some art studios have opened for the event, featuring artists like Verity Claire Pattison and Nik Williams.
Organizers said the response has been overwhelming as people are eager to come to an event and enjoy the creativity and inspiration on display.
Muirs bookstore owner Kim Pittar is one of those exhibiting her garden this year.
“They were looking for gardens and gardeners, so I raised my hand and asked the organizers to come and take a look, and that was it.”
Kim and her husband Guy own a property in Back Ormond Road where they grow tangerines and Christmas trees.
Kim said she only started her main garden two years ago, when they cleared the space.
She said the festival is a great way to peek behind the curtain at the beautiful hidden spaces around Tairāwhiti.
Local Gisborne Miter 10 owner and festival sponsor Geoff Taylor said he was happy to support the event.
“There are passionate gardeners in Gisborne and this is something worth supporting.
Geoff said he was better at killing plants than growing them, but his wife was a great gardener.
He said Gisborne’s gardening was going through a boom period.
“It’s phenomenal, I think it’s related to the foreclosure, but the amount of plants sold is incredible.”
Even though the weather doesn’t seem flashy, Geoff said it shouldn’t hold back the green thumbs.
“A little humid weather won’t worry avid gardeners, and the extra humidity will make gardens look great.”
The chosen charity that will benefit from a portion of this year’s festival proceeds is SuperGrans Tairāwhiti.
Operating below level 2 has some restrictions, but nothing that people are not used to in today’s environment.
Each stop will have a QR code to scan and a limited number for each garden.
A first for the festival, one of the stops will be to visit a Christmas themed room in a historic property.
The festival will also have a Garden Fete in Patutahi on Sunday, with stalls selling locally made goods, plants, jewelry, wood products and garden tools.
As the festival is postponed, the organizers will notify ticket holders as soon as a new date has been found.
BRILLIANT BACK-COURTS: Kim Pittar, garden exhibitor and owner of Muirs Bookstore, is one of the gardeners who have raised their hands to invite the community to their green space. Photo by Rebecca Grunwell