Hollard Gardens

There is a very well kept secret just 20 minutes from Stratford where hubby and I go often just to get out. It's called Hollard Gardens, outside of Kaponga, and it's a beautiful place to walk all year round. We like to take the children along sometimes and we end up with some awesome photos!

It's part of the Taranaki Regional Council and the entrance is free, but most of the time when we go there, we scarcely see another soul. Click here for some history and information about the garden.

It's so spacious, it's hard to believe it started as a hobby for one man! And, they have made some upgrades this year with a small playground and free barbie pits. I have included some of our pictures we like a lot and if you click the title, it will take you to a folder of more pics.

It's really a shame it's so under-appreciated, so maybe I can help a little by telling you about it!


Fringe Festival

Every spring, when the camellias and rhododendrons are in bloom, there are two organized "festivals" that show off the surrounding spring blooms. If you think your garden is grand enough to share then you register for the festival and your info is placed in the guide book. You can choose how much to charge for an entry fee--most of the Fringe Festival entrants are only $2 per person.

Over the years, the Rhododendron Festival [proper] has become more of a money-making proposition that has lost the focus of sharing the beauty; and, so the Fringe Festival has appeared. It is the same time and design as the original festival, but the entry prices are from free to $4, as opposed to up to $8 per person for the original festival entry fees.

A few months ago, there was an article in the local paper from a proper festival participant who talked down about the Fringe Festival as if it was trailer trash. Funny that this person is one that charges $8 per person. If it's about sharing the beauty, why charge at all?!?

Below are some random photos we all took this year. Click the images for large views.  Enjoy!

All the pictures you see here were taken by all four of us. We even entered some in the photo contest of Fringe Festival Gardens. It would be great if one of the kids won!