The 19th Garden Amble was held on Wellington Anniversary Day and offered a unique opportunity to explore the hidden gems and landscapes of the Whanganui gardens that took part this year. There are many lovely gardens in the Whanganui area, and an occasion like this allows the garden owners to show with pride the hard effort they have put into making an ‘oasis’ for themselves and indulging in their passion.

The Garden Amble invited visitors to embark on a self-guided tour that showcased the passion and diversity of the gardeners. From historical renovations to innovative greenhouses, each stop on the amble presented a distinct theme and gardening philosophy, reflecting the creativity and dedication of its caretakers.

A constant stream of visitors passed through the gardens on the lovely warm day and raised over $8,000 for Arthritis New Zealand.

Read more about each garden below by taking a (reading) walk through Whanganui’s enchanting gardens.

The Sunken Oasis of Tawa Street

The first stop was Emma, Frank, and their daughter Peggy’s evolving garden. Nestled within the remnants of the Gonville Pools, this garden is a testament to the family’s commitment to organic principles. Designed to support both their family and local wildlife, their “sunken garden” is a flourishing example of how urban spaces can be transformed into productive and biodiverse havens.

The Rustic Retreat of Marybank Road

Continuing to Sharen and Gavin’s property is a serene escape, offering visitors a chance to meander through rustic charm and lush landscapes. The hillside garden, with its labyrinth of paths, carpet roses, and ferns, provides a tranquil setting that captivates with its rural vistas and meticulous care.

Shurinji: A Japanese-Inspired Sanctuary

Penny and Andrew have cultivated ‘Shurinji,’ a garden that beautifully embodies its Japanese name. The 3½-acre landscape features cherry trees, a man-made lake, and a gazebo enveloped in wisteria and climbing roses, offering surprises at every turn with its well-placed statues and bridges.

Durie Vale Road’s Native Haven

Lois and Alan have created a favourite woodland area within their garden, attracting birds with native plantings and featuring large log carvings along the Purua Stream. Their newly established peace garden, complete with a tranquil pond, showcases their love for serene and reflective outdoor spaces.

Glenlogie Rose Gardens: A Forgotten Gem

The corner of Anzac Parade and Marshall Ave reveals the often-overlooked Glenlogie Rose Gardens. Established in 1992 and part of the historic Sedgebrook Estate, these gardens bloom with the efforts of local societies and council, presenting a colourful and fragrant tribute to Whanganui’s horticultural heritage.

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Shanes Greenhouses: A Verdant Learning Experience

Shane’s Greenhouses offer an educational glimpse into the cultivation of exotic Asian vegetables. With a “pick your own” system, visitors can explore the variety of plants grown within his commercial greenhouses, highlighting the importance of diversity and sustainability in gardening.

The Formal Elegance of Duncan Street

Trissa’s garden epitomises formal gardening with its neat borders, old-fashioned roses, and various “rooms,” including a tranquil pond area. Her garden narrates stories through its plants and design, inviting visitors to appreciate the careful planning and love imbued in its creation.

Holyhock Cottage: A Legacy of Love

Philip continues the gardening legacy of his late wife, Elizabeth, at Holyhock Cottage. His dedication to maintaining the cottage garden’s charm, from the picket fence to the roses over the trellis, embodies the spirit of perseverance and love for gardening.

Jill Woolf’s City Sanctuary

Jill Woolf’s city garden features a compact space teeming with flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees, alongside older established trees and shrubs. Her garden is a personal treasury, filled with memories and stories linked to each plant.

Te Whare Waimarie: A Garden of Evolution

At 175 Anzac Parade, Peter and Graeme’s garden, Te Whare Waimarie, showcases an eclectic mix of semi-formal arrangements, native plants, and quirky elements. Their evolving garden, designed with pathways of natural stone, invites visitors to amble slowly and savor its varied spaces.

James Kirkwood’s Artistic Landscape

James Kirkwood’s garden reflects his artistic journey, blending shade, soft edges, and dynamic spaces to connect his house and studio. His dedication to constructing pavilions adds a unique architectural element to the garden, enriching the landscape with artistic flair.

The Anniversary Amble is more than just a garden tour; it’s a celebration of community, creativity, and the enduring appeal of nature. It also raises much-needed funds for Arthritis NZ to continue helping people live well with arthritis.

Each garden on the tour offers a unique perspective on gardening, inviting visitors to explore, learn, and be inspired. Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful escape, the Anniversary Amble in Whanganui promises a memorable journey through some of the city’s most beautiful and lovingly tended gardens.

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