Return to the Naki and Waiongana

Last year we were blown away by the incredible gardens in The Taranaki Garden Festival. This year was no different. Unfortunately the weather gods were not  kind and we often were touring wearing our raincoats. Nevertheless the trip was certainly worth it, rain or shine.

We visited a few new gardens but also returned to an old favourite Waiongana Gardens. This 4 hectare garden is testimony to the vision, passion, and hard work of its owners John Wilmshurst and Diana Montgomery. John and Diana were on site to answer questions and give gardening tips. Both are extremely welcoming and hospitable.  John memorably eschews footwear, no matter the weather.

Even though we have visited before, it was interesting to see how the garden had matured over the previous 12 months and to note the changes. The peonies in their garden are enough to make gardeners from Northern climes  green with envy. They are impossibly beautiful and blowsy in a variety of pastel shades, covered in bees.  Although you may not be able to grow peonies, there are many other perennials that you will be able to attempt and what’smore Diana has a range of them for sale. We went home with a bootload. The garden walls constructed with logs are also a striking feature.

This year the garden hosted a cafe in the stylish onsite pavilion used for events and weddings. If you weren’t into gardens, the savouries and cakes alone would have made a visit to Waiongana truly worthwhile. 

Waiongana Gardens will be sure to be on our list again next year. 

Taranaki Garden Festival