Taupo Field Trip

19/03/2015

TAUPO WEEKEND   19/20/21/22 March 2015  Nineteen members enjoyed this long weekend in Taupo, plus two extras on the first day visiting a tranquil garden on the banks of the Waikato River designed by Jane McGowan and a magical tour of Hamilton Gardens led by Peter Sergel - the genius behind it all. The next day began with a visit to Box Topiary Nursery, then the Ora Garden of Wellbeing, gold medal winner at the Chelsea Flower Show 2004, followed by a guided tour of the gardens at Huka Lodge which exceeded even our high expectations. Famous plantsman, Gordon Collier shared his fascinating garden, with all its treasures from the Chathams and elsewhere, with us before we circled back to Sue and Simon Kirk's, the owners of the Box Topiary Nursery to see their own garden. A quick whirl around the grounds of the Hilton next door to where we stayed at De Bretts Spa to see what Celia Laity had managed to achieve there before indulging in a fantastic dinner prepared by Anna-Maria with help from Sue Lyons. The Baches to Beautiful Homes Tour on Saturday gave us an insight into the latest developments in Taupo, as well as some appealingly revamped older baches and homes. The mosaic gardens at Cafe L'Arte led to some interesting purchases and the incredible collection of plants at Acacia Bay Nursery also proved irresistible before we rounded off the day with dinner at Victoria's - highly recommended, thanks to Celia again. Trish Bartleet provided the final treat by showing us a garden she has designed for some local quarry owners - truly inspirational and a brilliant note to end our trip on. Long weekends like this will definitely remain on the GDSNZ agenda!