Taranaki a brightly coloured canvas
Every time Jo McCarroll visits Taranaki she is drawn into a world where flowers and trees are ever evolving works of art.
The editor of NZ Gardener magazine reckons the region has some of the best gardens in the country and others are jealous of the soil and climate.
"There are so many talented and pioneering gardeners in Taranaki, and it seems that everyone who lives or moves there becomes a gardener sooner or later," she says.
McCarroll, whose middle name is quite fittingly Rose, was in town last night to launch this year's Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular.
She says the province's gardens are like works of art and the festival is helping Taranaki to tap into a growing tourism market.
"For the whole country this is a tourism sector with lots of room for development," she says.
"We really have the potential to grow this, and those sorts of tourists are great for New Zealand."
This year's garden festival, which runs from October 31 to November 9, will feature seven new gardens.
A sub-tropical inner-city garden, a tranquil zen garden and an organic country garden are among the new additions to the programme.
McCarroll will be back in October to speak during the festival and intends to visit as many gardens as possible.
She may have to forgo some of her old favourites so she can squeeze in all of the new gardens, she says.
Festival manager Lisa Ekdahl says this year's event is set to awaken the senses.
"It is a feast of food, fashion, art, inspiring speakers and 49 of the some of the best gardens in New Zealand," she says.
Taranaki Daily News