Gardens are being announced and the planning and preparations are underway for the annual Pukaha Mount Bruce Wairarapa Garden Tour. Each year Welcome Tours puts on a small-group tour in conjunction with the event, departing from the Kapiti Coast.
I sat down for a chat with Alison, a guest on the Welcome Tours Spring Garden Tour in 2017 to ask what she thought of the weekend...
What was your impression of the gardens you visited?
The gardens we went to were all so different. Some small, some large, some colourful, some green. Apart from one I wasn’t keen on, the rest were brilliant. I couldn’t pick a favourite.
I was impressed by the hundreds and hundreds of roses. The clipped hedges. The loaded wisteria which was like a waterfall. Beautiful…
It was lovely to sit and enjoy a picnic lunch in one garden. The owner even brought us a cup of tea and made us most welcome. I think the hosts enjoyed having admirers of their gardens.
Did you connect with any of the properties in particular?
Brancepeth was very special. As a homestead on a large rural property, it took my heart and soul. It reminded me of the holidays I used to have as a city kid, staying with relatives on a large farm in North Canterbury.
The place was so well maintained and the history of it was very interesting. It has magnificent trees and I read that one of them was planted by one of the boys who brought it out from England as an acorn in his pocket.
Were they any surprises in the gardens?
There were lots of sculptures, fountains, and bird baths in the gardens… so much beauty and architecture. A blue Himalayan poppy was a favourite for me and a colourful cottage garden was a lovely balance to some of the larger lawns we saw.
Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to at the Gardens Weekend this year?
I’m looking forward to seeing a whole lot of new gardens in 2018.
Do you have any tips for first-timers on the garden tour?
It’s worth taking time to plan your route so that you see different types of gardens and you’re not too rushed. Sue took care of that for us and it worked well.
Keep an eye out for the owners - we loved the way they talked to us. That was a highlight. They shared their knowledge and experience and some of them had a question or two for us as well.
The images below are from Old Tablelands, the first garden to be announced for the 2018 Wairarapa Gardens Weekend...
If you would like to join Welcome Tours as we visit the gardens this year, please see here for more information, or call 04 478 6033.
Sue is the Director and Chief Explorer at Welcome Tours. Sue blogs about new discoveries and the things that matter to Welcome Tours.