Gardens & Garden Tours Around South Canterbury
South Canterbury's main centre Timaru is often called the "Rose City" - not surprising given the fact that Timaru’s renowned public gardens, the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden (named after a famous Timaru rose grower) and the town’s Botanic Gardens have both won national awards.
Roses are an important feature of the Timaru landscape. The city's most significant rose garden is the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden situated at Caroline Bay, adjacent to the town's Piazza area. Featuring more than 1200 rose species, this remarkable garden featuring some of the world’s finest roses is a Timaru attraction that cannot be bettered. The garden is a tribute to renowned South Canterbury NZ rosarian and author, Trevor Griffiths, whose collection of genuine old roses was once the third largest in the world. It is from this collection, plus a further 600 modern roses from English breeder, David Austin, that the garden has evolved. Architecturally designed, it has become a talking point with local people and visitors since its opening on December 2001. Visit during November - February when blooms are at their best.
Another significant local attraction, the Timaru Botanic Gardens, features wide open spaces, tall towering trees, tranquil formal gardens and striking displays of rare and endangered species to stun garden enthusiasts of all levels. A Species Rose Collection is one of over 30 plant collections contained within the gardens, with several trails developed including an interesting Shakespeare themed walk, Trees of the World and Historical Walk.
Timaru's Festival of Roses, a popular annual event, is held in November and attracts thousands – it is now recognised on the South Canterbury International Events Calender. Events that make up the colourful and varied week include rose and garden themed exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops and tours of stunning private city and country gardens. Timaru Festival of Roses tickets and information on gardens and garden tours available from the Timaru or Geraldine i-SITE Visitor Centres.
For more information on local tour providers who can take you to some of South Canterbury's most stunning public, private and historic gardens, browse our South Canterbury business listings or ask at one of our i-SITE Visitor Centres.
The region supports a good range of South Canterbury NZ gardening businesses from garden centres and nurseries, all happy to help with advice and garden supplies. With no shortage of garden enthusiasts around the region, there are a number of garden-related clubs and organisations including well-established groups such as the South Canterbury Rose Society. If you've made the move from visitor to new resident, ask at one of our i-SITE Visitor Centres for a list.
For more South Canterbury information, contact our Timaru i-SITE
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