Sun, Aug 20, 2023 10:36 AM

Stately garden restoration secrets to be unveiled


Paula Hulburt

The tale of restoring a walled garden at the childhood stately home of the late Princess of Wales will be revealed later this year.

NZ’s premier garden event Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough gets underway in November.

And headlining the event are UK based The Land Gardeners; New Zealand-born and raised Bridget Elworthy and Englishwoman Henrietta Courtauld.

At their keynote talk Bridget and Henrietta will share the story of their restoration of the walled garden at Althorp.

The pair will talk about the walled garden which sits in the 5,300 ha estate near Northampton in England.

Althorp House: Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough celebrates 30 years this summer and organisers promise an exciting line up of guests, workshops and tours.

Garden Marlborough chair Luke Elworthy says it is great to see Bridget and Henrietta returning to Marlborough.

“We’re delighted to announce the return of the hugely popular international garden experts; Bridget Elworthy and Henrietta Courtauld, aka The Land Gardeners”

“This year, our biggest ever line-up of workshop presenters includes some of Aotearoa’s most stimulating horticultual thinkers and innovators.”

Bridget and Henrietta will also share their latest ideas on what to grow and how to look after soils to create beautiful, biodiverse gardens.

Althorp is a key part of their ongoing research, with the pair partnering up with farmers and estate managers interested in transitioning to regenerative land use.

They are developing a 250-actre pilot farm where compost is taking the place of chemicals.

The duo will host a workshop here in Marlborough on soil health and regenerative agriculture as well as a Lanmark Tour, an exclusive full-day garden tour and masterclass to some of Marlborough’s most stunning gardens.

“We’re also privileged to have plantsman extraordinaire and horticultural rockstar Fergus Garrett appear in a pre-recorded video presentation from the astonishing Great Dixter in Surrey, in a workshop you’d be crazy to miss”, say Luke.

The garden tours have undergone a shakeup this year, with some new gardens and an expanded range of half-day

“This gives visitors the opportunity to visit more amazing gardens without missing out on any of their favourite workshops so they have more flexibity with planning their Garden Marlborough intineray” says Luke.

The line up of speakers over the five-day festival includes some well known experts; including dahlia guru Susie Ripley, Maramataka Maori expert Heeni Hoterene and local mushroom man, Adam Kubrock.

Garden grandeur: The popular Garden Party, shown here in 2019, returns to Longfield again this year. Photo: Supplied.

The Saturday night Garden Party returns to the legendary Longfield and Sunday is the STIHL Shop Garden Fête with more than 200 stalls.

Luke says the event is lucky to have support from loyal sponsors and funding partners, amazing volunteers and hard-working garden owners, Luke says.

“Garden Marlborough is once again thrilled to have the support of our naming sponsor, Rapaura Springs.

“Rapaura Springs are our perfect partner for this event, with their shared passion for gardening and our region. We are very grateful for their ongoing support.”

Margaret Neylon, co-owner of Rapaura Springs says there is much to celebrate.

This year's Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough event features the biggest ever line-up of workshop presenters say organisers. Photo: Supplied.

“Rapaura Springs Garden Marlborough has so much to celebrate this year. Over 30 years, the event has built a reputation as the country’s premier horticultural outing. We are proud to be a partner and congratulate the organisers and volunteers on this remarkable achievement.”

This year’s event runs from 8-12 November. Tickets, from $60-$175, are on sale via the event website

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