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Jacque Tucker: Put some Spring in your step

Publish Date
Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 9:10am

Jacque Tucker: Put some Spring in your step

Publish Date
Sun, 18 Sep 2016, 9:10am

If you really want to get a taste of spring, nothing beats visiting a garden where it’s in full swing. There’s bound to be an inspiring spring garden or two right around the corner from you!

YOUR OWN NEIGHBOURHOOD - The bright pink cherry blossoms you see blooming are Prunus campanulata, the Taiwan cherry, with other Prunus to come over the next couple of months. A great one for mild climate gardens. Look out for 'Felix Jury' at your garden centre, also Prunus campanulata 'Mimosa', 'Pink Clouds', and 'Petite Pink' which only gets to around 2.5m. Old cemeteries are great places to see spring flowers. In fact Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden, Auckland has one of the best collections of South African wildflowers in New Zealand.

EDEN GARDENS - there’s something to see all year round in this former quarry site on the slopes of Mount Eden. Tulips are still blooming and the Taiwan cherries are driving the tuis crazy.  The clivias are coming out, as well as bluebells, rhodos and loads of spring bulbs. And the Chinese Toon trees are a must-see if you love pink!  24 Omana Ave. in Epsom

HAMILTON GARDENS – mad about spring, with bulbs galore and events on nearly every other day. Coming up - a talk on Hemp growing on Thursday and the Hispanic Spring Festival on Saturday! All the themed gardens feature quite different plants, so every space will hold new spring surprises. The rhodos are an absolute treat, as are the maples, magnolias and dogwoods. Cobham Drive Hamilton.

CROMWELL BLOSSOMS - nobody does blossom like the South Island, and seeing the apricots, cherries and apples in bloom in early spring in Central is a sight to behold…particularly with a bright blue sky behind them. Take the drive from Queenstown to Wanaka through Cromwell and soak it all in. The sight of the blossoms with long pink icicles dangling off them (for frost control) is pretty spectacular.

AUCKLAND BOTANIC GARDENS has a Spring Blossom Valley with ornamental cherries and daffodils, HAGLEY PARK is awash with daffodils and bluebells and WELLINGTON BOTANIC GARDENS Spring Festival happens next weekend with a tulip celebration. And CORNWALL PARK in Auckland is famous for its daffodils and spring lambs.

TARANAKI GARDEN SPECTACULAR – what sort of ‘naki girl would I be if I didn’t mention my home province’s massive 10-day garden festival, one of the absolute highlights of the garden calendar at the end of October. 45 gardens to visit, 40 of them are private gardens open only for the festival. I can highly recommend the Oakley Garden in Manaia, Jenny Oakley’s garden will inspire even the most hardened non-gardener!

There are SO many gardens to visit – head out and put a little spring in your step!

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