Gardeners preparing for November festival

Tony Wright tending to his garden.

Bay of Plenty Garden & Art Festival gardeners are finalising the beautification of their plots in readiness for the November garden and art trail.

Amongst those are Tony and Bernice Wright whose garden will be showcased in the November 19-22 festival. 

The two, who both enjoy gardening, have been on many garden and art trails – both in the BOP and further afield.

It’s now time to include their Maungatapu property – which has been home for 27 years – in the festival.

The Wright’s garden features a thriving vegetable plot backed by a trellis-full of the famously fragrant sweat peas.

Nearby, the swimming pool surrounds are a celebration of repeated green and white plantings (it’s a small area, hence the repetition of a select number of plant varieties).

Japanese buxus, white wisteria, China Doll trees and port wine magnolia join palms and other beauties - such as a large potful of seasonally planted Impatien nuginean - in this area with its tropical ambience. Bernice is a dab hand with the clippers, as topiared buxus in terracotta pots attest.

BOP Garden & Art Festival director Marc Anderson says the Wright’s garden is one of an exciting number of properties new to the biennial festival, sponsored by Bayleys. They’ll join old favourites, as well as some that have returned after a break.

All up there are 80 garden and art stops this year with 12 specific art studio stops within that number.

Tickets can be bought from Palmers Bethlehem which is the festival’s garden and art trail sponsor, from eventfinda and through the festival website

From September 15 they can also be bought from Decor Gardenworld, Pacifica Home and Garden Store, Te Puke Florists, and Katikati Visitor Information Centre (Katch Katikati).

One day tickets cost $35 and a festival pass (covering four days) is $65.

Marc urges people to keep an eye on the festival website for any updates related to COVID-19.

The festival’s garden and art trail will be held if the district is still in level two in November. Marc assures that ticket holders will be reimbursed if the situation worsens and the trail cannot go ahead.

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