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Autumn celebration of art and gardensArt in three gardens .Jane McIntosh (left rear), Lissa Holland (right) and Lou Davison whose gardens and art, along with art from Nell McKellow, feature at a new event in the Hurunui District.

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Three artists, three gardens, and an abundance of autumn colours await Anzac weekend visitors to the Hurunui District.

Autumn with Art in Gardens is a new three-day event in the Hurunui, and promises plenty for keen gardeners, and art lovers.

You can walk the grounds, eat a catered lunch under the trees, meet the artists, dabble in print making, and watch demonstrations of landscaping with native plants, cake decoration or making gin.

The gardens – The Willows, with artists Jane McIntosh, Hemingford, with artist Lissa Holland, and Wynyard with Lou Davison and guest artist Nell McKellow, are all on Lowry Peaks Road, east of Culverden. They are open on Friday, April 23 from 10am to 4pm, Saturday, April 24, 10am to 4pm, and Sunday, Anzac Day, noon to 5pm.

All three artists are inspired by natural subjects and will be available over the weekend to answer questions.

Jane, Lissa and Lou hope the event will become annual.

Artist Jane McIntosh works from her studio at The Willows set in the 1.3 hectare garden developed over the past 20 years. There are two large ponds, multiple separate gardens and plenty of bird life. The farm, and Jane’s multiple dog and horse companions are her source of painting material, which end up on paper or canvas using oils, watercolour and charcoal.

You can join a screen-printing workshop on Saturday, hosted by Jane and run by Carla Watson. It is focused on screen printing with a botanical theme.

At Hemingford, a 955ha sheep and cattle farm, the Cecil Wood designed house built in 1952 is backed by a large stand of 65-year-old cedars and nestled at the foot of the Lowry Peaks Range, you can walk the grounds, explore the studio and meet artist Lissa, who works with a wide range of media types depending on how she wishes to interpret her ideas.

The 1ha garden encircling the house has a weeping elm, a copper beech, flowering cherries, roses, peonies, irises and many other herbaceous perennials. Many of these trees and plants have beautiful autumn colours. A block of New Zealand native planting is a recent addition and there is a herb area and large vegetable garden.

On Saturday, from 11am to 2pm there will be plants for sale, and Jamie McFadden of the Hurunui Native Plant Nursery will speak about landscaping with New Zealand natives referencing the new area at Hemingford where stabilisation of a steep bank was needed.

Ruby Haus, a product design student, will be demonstrating cake decorating all weekend. The Luxury Cashmere Co will have a range of scarves available for sale throughout the weekend.

At Wynyard, with Lou Davison and guest artist Nell McKellow, visitors can walk the 4 hectare garden. Nell enjoys using watercolour and watercolour and ink, and sells her artwork to many different countries.

Lombardy poplars line the driveway to the house, which is nestled in the garden with native gardens, shrubs and45 different varieties of deciduous and native trees. Lou’s brother Andrew Wright will be giving demonstrations on gin making. He was a co-founder of Light House gin, which has since been sold.

Andrew will have his still, botanicals and other secret weapons to make a tasty brew. He will give a half hour demonstration with a tipple at the end.

  • Cash entry on the day is $10 per person at each garden, or for pre-paid tickets email loudavison7@gmail.com. A pre-paid voucher to all 3 gardens is $30, or $55 with a picnic lunch box at Wynyard. The Willows Screen Printing Workshop on Saturday is $135. There are 12 spaces available.