Free events planned during first ever garden festival

The Botanic Gardens. Photo: Geoff Sloan
The Botanic Gardens. Photo: Geoff Sloan
A range of free activities and events will be held as part of the first Grow Ō Tautahi Christchurch Garden Festival in March.

Festival director Sandi MacRae said there should be something for everyone at the inaugural event.

“We’re creating a new, homegrown garden festival that will really have something for everyone in the Garden City.

"We aim to reflect the newest and most innovative ideas in gardening, sustainability, science, cooking and community trends."

It will run from March 20-22  at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Find out more here.

Family events

  • The Treetech Kidzone: A special area dedicated to children and families. There will be a tree-climbing activity, the sandpit “Big Dig” for buried treasure, a colouring competition with daily prizes and a native tree identification game. The schools garden exhibition will showcase emerging garden talent from Canterbury primary and intermediate schools.
  • Community garden: Friends and family can also explore the community garden – an inclusive design involving 32 of the city’s community gardens working together. There will be living furniture for selfie-taking and sharing in an interactive space that reflects the collaborative nature of community gardening.

Food events

  • Experts will be cooking up an exciting event for lovers of good food and locally sourced products. They’ll run the Garden Kitchen, a modular design by award-winning kitchen designer Davinia Sutton, and welcome a rolling guest-list of top chefs to take part in a “mystery box” challenge.

Gardening events

  • Beginner gardening ambassador Julia Atkinson-Dunn will run a series of panel discussions where beginner gardeners can learn tips and tricks from the experts.
  • The Botanical Marquee will be filled with spectacular displays along with ideas for growing all sorts of plants and produce.
  • Science ambassador Trevor Stuthridge, of AgResearch, will lead the festival’s focus on technology, innovation and environmental trends. Lincoln University and Environment Canterbury are coming together to explore the latest topics in sustainability and innovation. With input from young scientists, workshops and panel sessions will explore issues that are critical to our environment right now – keep an eye out for more detail on topics and sessions coming soon! Visitors will also learn about sustainable gardening, production and culinary practices from those in the know.
  • Design ambassador Dan Rutherford, an international award-winning exhibitor, will lead a team of designers who will showcase the latest in garden design trends and innovation.