The Sunday Series: Garden & Art


“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas”.   Elizabeth Murray’s quote says so simply and clearly why the marriage of “gardens and arts” in this month’s Bay of Plenty Garden & Art Festival is so successful.  This year’s festival happens soon – 19 – 22 November.

I’ve “done” a trail – it was not long after I came down to Tauranga – it was quite a physically demanding and tiring day but so worthwhile.  To see all the different garden styles, the art and the artists.   This year you can enjoy the experience for a one day pass at $35. and $65. for a multi-day pass (plus any booking fees).  But, you need to go to the website to see all that’s on offer.  

19 – 22 November 2020

Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival


Garden and Art Trail

Gardening is indisputably an art form. A garden plot can be considered an individual piece of art with a tale to tell of inspirational urges and labours of love that culminate in sensory delight.

And so it is with the gardens we showcase on our Bay of Plenty trail. We would not have such an impressive garden festival without our participating gardeners’ gracious invitations to visit their private domains and view their creativity.

Palmers Garden Centre – Bethlehem, is our partner of the Garden and Art Trail this year, and while you are out and about on the trail make sure you pop in!

What Will You See?

The trail spans from Katikati to Te Puke with all gardens open to explore on all four festival days. Our festival boasts a myriad of delights from small urban gardens to large rolling country gardens – many are new to the festival but rest assured, old favourites have returned too.

Adding to the offering are art stops along the way. In some cases there is the opportunity to see artists working from their own studios. Matching artists with gardens is what makes this garden trail unique. Local and national artists are displaying a wide variety of artwork in several different mediums.

Ticket Passes

The Garden and Art Trail is accessible to festival pass holders. Two ticket types will be available for the 2020 festival. A one-day ticket will get you to all gardens on the trail For one day only – you can choose that day, but once you are on the trail, this ticket will become invalid for any other day. A multi-day festival pass will allow you to see all gardens on all days of the festival. There’s the chance to organise a solid day of whistle-stop viewing or enjoy a more leisurely journey around the gardens over multiple days. Access to Bloom in the Bay, our festival hub is free with a festival pass.


Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm and Sunday 9.30am – 3.00pm

The Festival Gardens

We have eighty garden and art stops on this year’s trail and below is a sneak preview of some of them. A full overview of each and every garden and art stop is available in our festival directory which you will receive when you purchase your festival pack.

A Cool Green Woodland

A cool green and white woodland beguiles its visitors and leads them to a native habitat, newly created especially for…

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Coastal Garden

This 30-year-old coastal garden is a treat for the senses. There’s fragrance to stimulate, pops of colour and the sound…

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Boutique Nursery

This splendid garden has mature tress and shrubs with shady woodland areas, sunny borders with perennials, roses and topiary throughout….

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Micro Garden

This contemporary micro garden includes an eclectic mix of bromeliads, natives and tropical plants. Wander through a secluded courtyard, embellished…

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Hidden Paths

This medium-sized garden is divided into rooms, each reflecting a different style. Keep an eye out for hidden paths that…

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Bursting with Colour

This vibrant garden is bursting with colourful displays of foliage and flowers under a 90-year-old copper beech tree. There is…

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This expansive cottage-style garden is in three sections. Large trees provide an oasis of shade on the lush grass looking…

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Semi Tropical

So much to delight at this semi tropical garden featuring a pond, lush green plants (some of which are rare),…

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Relax & Ponder

This is an architectural garden (structures and sculptures) with defined outdoor rooms and lots of little discovery moments. This garden…

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This English-style home and half acre garden incorporates both formal and informal outdoor living spaces. Pergola covered terraces support roses,…

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80th Year

This four-year-old garden has been thoughtfully crafted keeping in mind “less is more”. This three-acre, easy-care property features  violets, nyssa…

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Private Sanctuary

The Green Room is an extension of the townhouse at this address. An easy care sheltered space  provides a private…

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Rustic Edge

Starting from a blank canvas, the two designed it together. It is a compact, colourful garden with a rustic edge…

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Inner-City Garden

Our semi-contemporary inner-city garden is layered with buxus and camellia hedging with a modern water feature and mature trees. The…

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These community gardens have been designed to nurture the soil, plants and gardeners. The communal areas contain herbs, vegetables and…

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Country Oasis

A country oasis awaits, with a cottage garden with roses and perennials in a gorgeous country setting. Soak up the…

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Natives & Exotics

The Omahanui garden flows around 3 historic cottages and features a range of interesting native plant species blended with exotic…

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Bring a picnic and settle into this large peaceful garden, surrounded by well-established native and exotic trees, meandering pathways, ferneries,…

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Vibrant Colour

This colourful garden features several rooms that take you from suburbia, through New Zealand and Australian natives, around a stone…

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Kowhai Grove

This is a rustic garden with upcycled old gates featuring a Kowhai grove. Explore the piece of native bush, along…

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Quirky & Fun

An enchanting garden which is forever changing. Discover new plantings, bold pots, different animals, and intriguing features. Creative upcycling makes…

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Harbour Views

Stunning harbour views will take your breath away as you wander through this garden just off the water’s edge. Stones, driftwood,…

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Green Oasis

Egret is a quiet green oasis looking out to Rangatua Bay. A generous courtyard is strongly influenced by the designs…

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Rome Inspired

The Italian Renaissance garden of Villa Lante in Rome was the inspiration for this garden. Geometric design, a water feature…

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Soak it up!

A new garden including amazing entertaining areas featuring a pizza oven, fire place, swimming pool and dining area. There’s a…

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Come and explore this five-year old garden developed into rooms consisting of a fernery, white formal room, orchard, tropical zone,…

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An enchanting garden expertly combining formal with rambling cottage. The stunning entertaining area boasts an outdoor fire nestled under a…

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A formal garden with different plants used for hedging, lots of iceberg standards and topiary camellias and conifers.

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Tranquil Sanctuary

This garden showcases how a small suburban site can provide a tranquil and appealing sanctuary. Where once was weeds is…

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Orchard Garden

A small avocado orchard over 3.5 acres with hard landscaping, and large 10-year-old par- like trees can be found at…

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Eclectic in the City

This eclectic city garden packs a lot of punch for a small space. Set amongst many succulents you’ll find a…

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Charm All Around

Charm abounds at this formal garden with private courtyard, water feature and raised potager veggie patch. Interior design accessories and…

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Myriad of Plantings

A rich variety of textures and exciting colour combinations give this established garden a contemporary edge and an element of…

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Tropical & Edible

This garden takes you on a journey weaving through different rooms… one for every taste. Areas include a formal lawn…

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Whether it be to grow for yourself, family, share with friends or give away to others more in need, this…

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Urban Garden

Framed by a beautiful backdrop of water/estuary views, this urban garden is made up of multiple spaces and provides plenty…

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Tropical & Lush

This is a garden of surprises! Created some 20 years ago with passion and foresight, it’s now established and fully…

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Parkland Setting

This garden and home covers three acres within a parkland setting. It comprises both formal and informal gardens and special…

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Sweeping Views

This half-acre block has gorgeous views sweeping over Tauranga and The Mount. Check out the lush greenery with pops of…

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Te Puna Quarry garden is a magical place created by volunteers, with a surprise around every corner. Plantings include herb…

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Banks Full of Colour

Meander down through the avocado grove to an informal garden with natural bush, bushwalks and a bridge over a shady…

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A Rural Acre

This semi-formal rural garden spreads out over an acre of land, with sweeping lawns surrounded by established trees, with mass…

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Natural Bushland

Enter this natural bushland to feel as if you  are miles away from the hustle of city life. Lush punga…

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Collectors Paradise

Overlooking the Te Puna wetland, this mature garden of nearly 30 years is a plant collectors’ paradise where unusual trees…

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Delight in the Country

A sparkling stream through mature native bush meanders through this large country garden creating ponds on the way. The many…

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Four years ago this property was just grazing paddocks. It has now been transformed into a garden park with beautiful…

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Park Garden

Holly Grove garden is a one hectare established formal garden. Featured on arrival is a grove of English deciduous trees…

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Iris Lovers

Showcasing NZ’s biggest collection of Irises. Take in the vibrant pops of colours from Japanese and Siberian Irises and many…

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French Dream

Villa Vie gardens are reminiscent of a French country Villa estate, with a large lagoon-like pond and natural river encircling…

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Something Tiny

This hide-away in the natural wilderness, features unique Tiny Houses that inspire a less complicated lifestyle. It features a waterfall…

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A Quiet Oasis

A quiet green oasis on the edge of Fantail Reserve looking out to Rangatua Bay. A generous courtyard is strongly…

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Piece of Paradise

A mature rural garden that invokes a feeling of relaxation and peacefulness due to trees and shrubs having room to…

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Paula Knight Artist

Exotically vibrant coastal paintings are set off to perfection by her bright beach bach and established garden. Outdoor areas spill…

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Native Retreat

This delightful country coastal garden has bountiful views of Mauao. These grounds are bursting with roses and flowers with mature…

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Red Maple

The overall theme of this garden is “red maple”. Layers of shrubs and maples frame the terrace, while peachy orange…

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Subtropical garden in the heart of Greerton. This property shows just how you can transform a small urban home into…

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Rustic Interest

A five-year old garden developed into rooms consisting of a fernery, white formal room, orchard, tropical, ponds and lovely lawn…

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A Florists Dream

A floral artists picking garden on a sloping section over several levels. Pathways and steps meander through a fully planted…

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Views in the country

A large country garden with beautiful harbour views and sweeping lawns down to the waterfront. Large established trees frame the…

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Retreat out of town

This is a garden that has been lovingly developed over 40 years. Creative plantings of mostly foliage and topiary in…

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Siesta Garden

Over 46 years of love has been poured into this large cottage garden with everything being planted by the owner….

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Bloom in the Bay

Bloom in the Bay – our Festival Hub at Tauranga Racecourse – will be bursting with local art and so much more! You can attend an inspiring workshop, learn a new creative skill like decorating your Christmas table, or even make seed bombs at one of the hands-on demo’s. Mingle with fellow ‘Garden and Art Trail Adventurers’ and swap your must-see gardens. Catch up with friends and enjoy a glass of wine from the Mills Reef Bar.

Free entry for Pass Holders and only $5 at the gate for everyone else (kids under 14 are free).

Live Music • Kids Zone • Food Trucks • Bar • Stage Acts • Presentations & Workshops • Creative Demonstrations • Art Exhibitions • Flower Displays • and More!


Bay of Plenty Garden and Art Festival


Workshops & Speakers

The festival includes fun and interactive demos from a wide range of artisans. The line-up includes forging, flower crowns, table…

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Concept Gardens

Meander around the racecourse and admire the concept gardens designed by top-notch local landscape designers. Garden designs range from traditional…

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Live Music

Any festival is not complete without a great soundtrack and Bloom in the Bay will have the tunes. Fantastic entertainment…

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Food & Trade Stalls

Come enjoy a selection of  lunch and  dinner options offered by an  array of food trucks. Sweet and savoury options…

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Kids Zone

Come and Play in the Children’s Garden at Bloom in the Bay Little Sweethearts Montessori are looking forward to delighting…

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Galleries galore will be on offer this year… with artwork being displayed from the Weekend Sun’s Emerging Artists Workshops, Tauranga…

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Get your flowers

Expect an array of interesting stalls and activities. Amongst these stall holders will be the NZ Iris Society, Bay of…

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Bay of Plenty Floral Art Society

The Bay of Plenty Area of the Floral Art Society will once again be holding its Designer of Year competition…

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Check out everything on offer  at

This article for The Sunday Series on ARTbop has been compiled from text, image and material available online.

Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand.

Gate Pa-Pukehinahina – visiting Tauranga check out our recent history. 



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Vintage Copper KettleGetting ready for Christmas with our wonderful blue-foliaged conifersLooking forward to white hydrangeas and rows of fragrant lavendersOur original Christmas Card designsJust one of the many quirky collectables at The Corner Shop NZ

                     Live local, Love local, and to See and Buy local!

 You can check our progress on the property up here in Whakamarama and some more of the eclectic range of the vintage, collectable and just plain weird we have in our shop and the decor around our little house.    

We hope you are all safe and well and “wear your freakin mask…”


You’ll find the wonderful garden art of Isaac Weston in the upcoming Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty Garden & Art Festival  



WHILE THE WORLD CONTINUES TO FACE THE CURRENT HEALTH CRISIS NZ Must See will bring New Zealand to you through its facebook page.

                                            NZ MUST SEE


Outdoor markets and fairs for art and artisan productsJust one of the many amazing markets, fairs and farmers markets in the Bay of Plenty.  Make sure you check out the Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning in the Mount Maunganui main street!

The Jam Factory at The Historic Village

Check out the histtory of Tauranga – it’s everywhere

Walk Mauao and see the political statement art of the internationally known Mr G

Visit Morrinsville and “The Nott”

The beautiful The People’s Gallery at the Historic Village.  Just one of the gallery and exhibition spaces within the Village complex.   Currently showing at The Imprint Gallery – the work of Tauranga artist and creative John Baxter.

Nga toi Maori in Okorore the historic Faulkner homestead.

The Tauranga Waterfront

The Rialto Tauranga, a boutique cinema complex.

The Incubator Gallery

Clarence Boutique Hotel, Bistro and Iki Bar in the Old Post Office, downtown Tauranga.

Visit The Elms

Check out the cluster of shops and cafes at 9th Avenue Tauranga

Remember our past


                                    AROHANUI    KIA KAHA 

                                                          “and wear your freakin mask”





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