Garden lovers can visit a wide range of privately-owned gardens in and around Cambridge thanks to the generosity of owners willing to share the beauty of their creations.
Some private gardens belong to commercial growers while others are lovingly cultivated by their owners simply for pleasure.
Before visiting, it pays to contact the garden owners and arrange an appointment. Private gardens that welcome visits include:
Earth and Clay Gardens (44 French Pass Road, Cambridge). An 0.8-hectare garden and earth and clay house. Sweeping lawns, trees, shrubs and plants abound. Peter and Eunice Martin, ph: 07 827 5427.
Jan Mather's Garden (168 Watkins Road Cambridge). A one acre country garden with a special interest in hydrangeas, more than 100 different named varieties. Ph: 07 827 5301.
Sarnia Park (51 Maungatautari Road, Cambridge). The 3.2 hectares of grounds include a man-made lake, an English garden, a croquet lawn, rose gardens and an Awanui cherry blossom lawn. The New Zealand Garden Trust declared the park a "Garden of Significance" in December 2009. Ph: 07 823 3421.
Shirley McCraw's Garden (Unit 4 17 Pope Terrace, Leamington, Cambridge). A small town house garden. Ph: 07 823 2120.
Tamahere (12 km, 10 mins drive from Cambridge)
Moondance Manor Gardens. A Waikato garden of grandeur with an abundance of flower beds, a wealth of native and exotic mature trees, a large ornamental pond, many open lawn areas, and substantial formal hedging; set on three acres bordering the Waikato River. Jeanette and Stephen Williams, ph 07 859 0130.
Patricia Wellington (267 Newell Road, Tamahere). A home garden. Ph: 07-856 5040.
Hamilton (23km, 25 mins drive from Cambridge)
The Poplars (402 Matangi Road, Matangi). International daffodil breeders. Lesley & Peter Ramsay, ph: 07 829 5551.
Judith Browning's Garden. (Lee Road, Rotokaur). A country garden on 0.5 hectare containing an English-style walled garden and woodland. Ph: 07 849 5184.
Te Awamutu ( (25.5km, 28 mins drive from Cambridge)
Highgate Garden (167 Bird Rd, Pirongia). Jan de Nicolo's 0.8-hectare garden including a sunken and native bush garden. Ph: 07 871 9771.