Tour Flaxmere Garden

Since 2005 Flaxmere Garden near Hawarden in North Canterbury has been recognised as a six-star “Garden of National significance” by the New Zealand Gardens Trust.

A labour of love for one family for more than 50 years, the garden will on display on 20 November as a fundraiser for The Court Theatre.

Penny and John Zino started creating Flaxmere Garden back in 1966. The challenges that confronted them then are still constant threats. This is a harsh environment where extreme weather conditions such as wind, drought, snowfalls and late frosts can all wreck havoc on the garden. It is a testament therefore to the Zinos’ dedication over so many years that Flaxmere today is without question, a world class garden.

Some visiting Flaxmere will simply enjoy the moment and appreciate the beauty of what they see. Others will have the knowledge to see how the wonderful effects of all the various garden areas have been created. And there are so many areas to see from the homestead garden and house lawn to the swimming pools garden, the rose garden, the native garden, the perennial and grasses garden, not forgetting the woodland and pond environments.

Working at Flaxmere is gardening on a huge scale beneath the awesome shadow of the Southern Alps. It’s big picture gardening – no fussy weeding here – and even a wheelbarrow isn’t much use. You need great drays to transport plants, fertiliser and pea straw as well as to dump frequent mountains of rubbish. There are dozens of roses to be pruned as well as numerous hydrangeas and that’s before even looking at the large trees to be thinned, trimmed and sometimes felled. A visit here will have you in awe of the thousands of hours of blood, sweat, tears and even heartache that have been poured into this inspiring high country garden.

The visit in November organised by The Friends of The Court Theatre, is when Flaxmere Garden is at its best with most things in full bloom. The roses and the peonies will be a riot of beautiful colour, but there will still be some rhododendrons flowering and lots of fresh new lime-green budding trees. Hostas, euphorbia, primula candelabra, foxgloves and delphiniums will all add to the colour and vibrancy of Flaxmere in late spring.

Source reference: Flaxmere Garden – 50 years of extremes


Open Day at Flaxmere Garden
128 Westenras Rd, Hawarden.
Sunday 20 November, 10am to 4pm.
Tickets $50 per person, including a beverage on arrival.
Food available for purchase.
Tickets available via

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