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01 - 04 Oct 2021


Due to COVID19 Level 4 & 3 lockdown, this event has been cancelled.

Calling all Gardeners & Photographers

If you have a passion for gardening and photography, then come join Jo McCarroll (Editor NZ Gardener Magazine) and Lesley Whyte (multi-award winning photographer) on our “jammed packed” four days as we explore amazing gardens in the Marlborough region.

For the gardeners, we will be visiting some of region’s most recognised and acclaimed gardens. Not only will you meet the passionate people behind these gardens, you’ll come away with knowing what you can do to prepare your garden for the full spring blooming period; when to mulch, prune and even understand their planting regime.

Now, for the photographers, you will also be spoilt if you are a macro or landscape photographer, Lesley can work with you on how to capture some stunning images and even if you are a smart phone user, you will come away with some new ideas on composition. 

Over these four days we visit a variety of gardens, each being different in their landscape, design and history of why they were created, some of the gardens we visit include: 

Paripuma – Landscaper Rosa Davison once dreamt of creating a haven for wildlife on what was a barren and windswept seashore. Using thousands of Ngaios and other sturdy natives, shelter was created for more interesting and some near extinct species such as Pennantia Baylisiana, Eryngium and Tecomanthe Speciosa. The result sees intertwining walkways and hidden paths juxtaposed with traditional formal lines, blending a strong central vista into the natural lie of the land. The property is now home to bellbirds, woodpigeon, tui, quail, pheasant, geckos, frogs and butterflies. Recently the emphasis at Paripuma has been on creating a habitat for wildlife rather than a manicured garden and if it is a warm day the butterflies may be out ! In 2020 Paripuma won a National Award as an outstanding habitat for butterflies. 

Upton Oaks – We couldn’t miss this garden of National Significance which consists of different garden areas, all contained within a formal framework of hedges and walls, which define and separate the garden rooms. A favourite feature is the large formal 17th century style knot garden which is divided into different colour sections by buxus. View the herbaceous borders and pond plus the productive garden which is accessed via a small olive grove, or along the rose walk, to large raised vegetable beds and espaliered fruit trees on  brick walls.

Barewood Gardens – Recognised as a six-star Garden of International Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust, Barewood is a constantly evolving artwork of inspired plant and colour combinations.  Lovingly created by Carolyn and Joe Ferraby, Barewood is a large, semi-formal country garden that roams across four acres in the spectacular Awatere Valley, Marlborough. Nestled amongst beautiful countyside, it is a garden that is serene, intimate and undoubtedly unique.

Viv Bond’s Garden – This garden has a remarkable sense of peacefulness with its park-like open spaces and lots of repetition in the planting. Its focal point is the creek running through the centre of the property and the small pond that lies in front of the house. 

This weekend isn’t just about gardens and photography, you will be wined and dined throughout; from breakfast at our hotel, morning teas, lunches, afternoon teas, through to beautiful dinners are all included. Apart from some spending money for any #retailtherapy, once you step onboard our luxury coach at Christchurch on Friday morning until the we drop you off at Blenheim Airport on Monday after lunch all your meals and wines are included. If you would like to be returned to Christchurch, more than happy that you keep our driver company on the return trip.

We are privileged that each of the gardens we visit will host us for a beautiful home made morning or afternoon tea and continuing with the garden theme is a delicious eight course, degustation dinner with wine matching at the highly acclaimed Arbour restaurant

We couldn’t miss wine also being a theme of this weekend; as well as visiting wineries for lunch, what better way than to enjoy a “painting with wine” session run by local and talented artist Sarah Higgins, finishing with a late lunch at Wither Hills. 

There is much more on the schedule and we may even have time to slot in a little bit of #retailtherapy at Blenheim’s amazing Cinnamon House (situated beside our hotel), we are sure your will find something amongst their eclectic mix of old and new treasure for lovers of all things interior. 

Over these four days, we stay at Blenheim’s 4-star Hotel Durville – limited single rooms are available so be in quick to secure your single room at an additional $400.

If you are based in Blenheim and didn’t want accommodation – email lesley@girlsontheroadagain.com for this your rate.

A $500 deposit secures your place with the balance payable 21 days prior and single room is payable with your deposit.


  • 1st October – Christchurch: Depart 8.00am George Hotel & 9.00am Depart Christchurch Airport on Friday morning
  • 4th October – Christchurch: Arrive Christchurch Airport on late Monday afternoon
  • 4th October – Blenheim: Arrive Blenheim Airport early Monday afternoon
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