Garden show 21 and flourishing

Tickets to November's Garden Marlborough event are selling well with one workshop sold out already, chairman Jeremy Jones says.

He told sponsors and garden hosts who gathered in Blenheim on Wednesday night to officially launch the three-day event's programme that tickets had been on sale since August 1 and the response was good.

The theme for this year, the 21st Garden Marlborough, is Taste the Good Life, which Jones said encapsulated what it was about Nelmac Garden Marlborough that brought people back year after year.

"It's the winning formula so to speak. In talking to ticketholders the reason is quite simple. They come here with friends and family to enjoy the very best of what Marlborough has to offer all packaged up in one weekend - the best gardens, the best food, the best climate, the best wine . . . it really is a taste of the good life."

Nelmac spokesman Andy Evans said the company was delighted to sponsor Garden Marlborough again.

The event had a high profile and had given Nelmac a higher profile too. He said new customers had employed Nelmac on the basis that it sponsored Garden Marlborough.

"This event gives us an opportunity to invest back in the community and to drive economic benefit for Marlborough."

Nelmac Garden Marlborough, described as New Zealand's premier garden festival, runs from November 6-9.

A celebration of Marlborough's stunning landscape, it showcases the very best the region has to offer with a series of garden tours, garden-themed workshops and social events.

This year's workshop programme will be led by renowned Australian landscape designer and botanist Michael McCoy, who will host two seminars, Digging Deeper and A Question of Balance, during which he will share his expertise in dry gardening.

Horticultural specialist and self-confessed plantaholic Lynda Hallinan, and John Penny of Thirkettle Nurseries, presenting Fruit Production for Health and Pleasure, will join professional chef Bevan Smith of Riverstone Kitchen fame, Auckland-based food writer Julie Biuso and others in a workshop programme to delight novices and green-thumbed experts alike.

The Garden Party at Lake Timara Lodge, where guests can mingle with like-minded gardeners, friends and guest presenters, will be held on the Saturday night. The festival will culminate with its biggest event, the Stihl Shop Garden Fete, on Sunday 9, November.

For more information visit

The Marlborough Express