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In 2018, Creative Matakana has an extra little gardening vibe happening. We're holding four special Landscape Days, with exceptional guest speakers who are award-winning leaders in their fields of plant knowledge, landscaping and garden design.

Each Landscape Day will be held in a glorious garden in the Matakana area, with a delicious lunch included. 

Landscape Days

• Homegrown harvests in a hurry with Lynda Hallinan **FULL**

• Fabulous Foraging with Craig Thorburn **FULL**

• Engaging With Our Natural Landscapes with Dr Nick Waipara and Philip Smith  **FULL**

• Planting by Design with Andy Hamilton **FULL**


212. Homegrown harvests in a hurry | Lynda Hallinan

Monday May 7 | Fee: $135 ** FULL **

Lynda Hallinan's homegrown harvest. Photo credit: Sally Tagg

Lynda Hallinan's homegrown harvest. Photo credit: Sally Tagg

How to grow almost all the fresh, nutritious food you want to eat, without chemicals, and without it ever feeling like a chore. Join gardening guru Lynda Hallinan for an entertaining and informative workshop on modern self-sufficiency, and learn how you can plan and plant an organic vegetable patch in one weekend.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, Lynda shares her secrets and shortcuts to bigger, better harvests, no matter what size your garden. Topics covered include: soil preparation, seed sowing, the best value vegetable varieties, fruit tree selection, container gardening, crop rotation, eco-friendly pest and disease controls and preserving pointers to reduce waste. 

Lynda's Bio

Author, broadcaster, journalist and gardener Lynda Hallinan has had soil under her fingernails since her teens. The former editor of NZ Gardener, she lives at Foggydale Farm in Hunua where she has an ever-expanding spray-free vegetable garden and orchard of 300 fruit trees. Lynda's philosophy is that gardening, first and foremost, should be free-range and fun.

213. Fabulous Foraging with Craig Thorburn

tuesday May 8 | Fee: $135  **FULL**


Join Craig on a foraging journey at a beautiful local home and garden. He will open your eyes to a new aesthetic, and among other things you will learn how to dress a table with foraged items for special occasions. He promises that you’ll discover some unexpected elements in your home that are fun, magical and best of all, free! Craig loves nothing better than to find plants and objects in nature to create beautiful design pieces, Christmas decorations or centrepieces for tables and within the home.

Craig says, “For me half the fun of having a dinner or lunch party is setting the table. I want my guests to come to the table and feel they’ve entered another world. My class will show you how to dress a fabulous foraged table – interior design is literally on our doorsteps!”

The day will culminate in a special lunch based around a foraging theme.

Craig's Bio

Craig Thorburn is from Greytown in the Wairarapa and owns a garden design store there, ‘Grand Illusions’. He has participated in major projects throughout the country including the Louis Vuitton Cup, major functions at Villa Maria Winery, Huka Lodge and the Arrowtown Winter Festival, as well as being a three-time gold winner at Ellerslie Gardens.

214. Engaging With Our Natural Landscapes
Dr Nick Waipara and Philip Smith

Wednesday May 9 | Fee: $135  **FULL**

This day begins at Omaio, Liz Morrow’s beautiful Garden of International Significance on the Tawharanui Peninsula. It is set among mature native trees – some of which are many centuries old.

One of the glorious bushwalks at Omaio...

One of the glorious bushwalks at Omaio...

We will discuss with Dr Nick Waipara how gardeners, the public and communities play a crucial part in both local and national biosecurity initiatives through raising awareness, monitoring and management of weeds and pests, and we’ll see biosecurity in action in Liz’s immaculate garden.

After morning tea, Philip Smith of O2 Landscapes will talk about plant-hunting in remote (and not-so-remote) New Zealand landscapes, and the influence that time spent observing wild landscapes and plant communities can have on garden design. 

Following this, we will go to nearby Tawharanui Regional Park where Philip will show us the thriving native flora and bird life and tell us about keeping this area pest free. Before leaving this ‘Mainland Island’ we will boil the billy and serve a rustic gourmet lunch.

Gardeners' Bios

Dr Nick Waipara

Nick has recently joined Plant and Food Research in Auckland. His previous role as Principal Advisor of Biosecurity for Auckland Council included coordinating and implementing biosecurity policy as well as the research and innovation that underpins operational pest management programmes.  He developed partnerships with Māori, industry and communities to work with social, cultural, environmental and economic issues which arose in conjunction with these programmes. He’s also involved with national and regional biosecurity including the Kauri Dieback Programme ‘Kia Toitū He Kauri’, Treasure Islands (Protecting the Hauraki Gulf - Tīkapa Moana o Hauraki) and biological control of weeds. Nick’s research background is in plant pathology, mycology and environmental microbiology.

Philip Smith

Philip Smith is the owner and primary designer of O2 Landscapes Ltd. His company is committed to expanding the range of native plants used within landscape architecture, particularly threatened species. Philip has lectured at Victoria University, contributes to Landscape Architecture NZ magazine, and wrote ‘Vernacular : The Everyday Landscape of New Zealand’ (2015; Potton & Burton). He has been lead NZ plantsman at the Chelsea Flower Show and most recently, undertook the full design and research for the 1769 Garden at Longbush Ecosanctuary in Gisborne (; a multi-generational project that will be part of the upcoming 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival in New Zealand (in 2019).

215. Planting by Design with Andy Hamilton

Thursday May 10 | Fee: $135  ** FULL **

Please note: this day is now FULL - but do email to go on a waiting list if you like. 

Over the course of this day of garden inspiration, Andy will talk about his experiences working with Tom Stuart-Smith and other great plantsmen he’s met, including Piet Oudolf, James Hitchmough and Jinny Blom. He’ll show examples of his UK work and discuss the ideas and principals associated with the new ‘perennial movement’. You’ll see images of gardens Andy has created in Morocco, India, the Caribbean and Europe and will further discuss the ideas of plant selection and plant communities. The talk will end with an open discussion about the native plant communities in New Zealand and how best to mix them with the exotic shrubs and perennials which thrive in our climate.

Following the talk, a delicious lunch will be provided, then Andy will provide a guided tour of two quite contrasting gardens which respond to their own distinct environments: the garden at Ward Road which explores an English country garden influence, and a Point Wells garden with native estuarine plantings. 

Andy's Bio

Andy has been involved in the landscape industry from an early age, both at nurseries and as a landscape contractor, before completing a degree in Landscape Architecture at Auckland’s Unitec. He began working in an Auckland urban design firm in 2003. From 2005-2016 Andy was based in the UK working as an Associate at Tom Stuart-Smith Ltd, where he designed a mix of public and private projects in the UK, France, Spain, India, Morocco and the Caribbean.

He has returned home to New Zealand to set up his own landscape design practice. Andy’s planting design explores the rich and diverse native flora of New Zealand mixed with the perennials and exotic shrubs that are suited to our climate.