The 2014 New Zealand Garden and Art Festival is being hailed as one of the most successful in the festival’s history.
Festival director, John Beech, who has been at the helm since 2012, said it was his “best festival yet”.
The introduction of a festival hub, held over three days at the Lakes Expo Pavilion, drew around 400 people an hour during peak times.
“The value of creating a genuine hub for the festival speaks for itself. The concentration of a myriad of attractions and exhibitions in one location was a huge draw card,” he said.
And, despite the less than perfect weather at times, the Garden Trail proved its perennial popularity, with crowds flocking to the gardens every day, he added.
“The Garden Trail remains the backbone of the festival and we appreciate that without private gardeners willing to share their domains, with all the preparation that entails, there would be no festival. One Te Puna gardener counted 500 through her gate by morning tea time,” Mr Beech said.
The future of gardening was assured if the 15 schools who participated in festival were anything to go by, he said.
“The school gardens and the schools who set up display gardens at the Expo hub clearly demonstrated that children have a strong understanding of environmental issues and ‘green fingers’ which will serve them and the planet well in the future.”
Mr Beech also thanked the artists, exhibitors, floral artists, speakers and those behind-the-scenes, who numbered over a thousand.
“And that is not counting the thousands who made the festival a success by embracing all it had to offer,” he said.
“We sincerely thank everyone who contributed to and participated in our ninth biennial festival. It all bodes very well for our tenth festival in two years time.”
The tenth NZ Garden & Art Festival will be held in November 2016.