Long lunch at the BOP Garden & Art Festival

Lynda Hallinan. Supplied photo.

A woman who has made a career out of her passion for gardening will host the BOP Garden & Art Festival’s Long Lunch event this November.

That much-lauded woman is Lynda Hallinan, who has spent her working life writing and talking about gardening from first-hand experience.

She is the former editor of NZ Gardener and Weekend Gardener magazines, she previously edited the gardening pages of Your Home & Garden and NZ House & Garden magazines, she fronted TV gardening shows, was a Sunday Star-Times columnist, and talked gardening on air for many years too.

Lynda remains a columnist for various magazines, continues to produce books (she has written six with the latest offering being The Joy of Gardening) and is a popular speaker at gardening events throughout New Zealand.

BOP Garden & Art Festival director Marc Anderson says the festival team is delighted that Tauranga will be a stop on Lynda’s speaker tours.

The festival’s ever-popular long lunch will be held on November 20 from noon until 3pm at Tauranga Racecourse’s Doncaster lounge. Attendees will be on the receiving end of a three-course luncheon and a glass of bubbles on arrival.

Lynda will be joined at the podium by New Zealand’s “bug man” Ruud Kleinpaste, and the event will include live musical entertainment.

The self-professed “plantoholic” has spent half her life digging up ideas for growing food and flowers in Kiwi gardens.

She lives, with husband and two sons, in the foothills of the Hunua Ranges area, and chances are her talk will include details about her new project.

Lynda has a large country garden (Foggydale Farm) to keep her busy at home but has added to her workload/gardening ventures by purchasing a rundown colonial cottage up the road on a riverbank – there she is creating “a cutesy new one (garden) on a slightly more manageable scale”.

Lynda’s life in the country is far from lonely – she has many beating hearts around her.

A recent count clocked up (in addition to humans) two adopted cats, two dogs, a suitably-fat kunekune pig, a flock of free-range chooks, pet Cayuga ducks, five rescue cows and 10 sheep. Some have especially delectable names, like Plum Chutney and Cupcake.

It’s little wonder Marc says those attending the lunch can expect both a knowledgeable and colourful presentation.

While in Tauranga Lynda will get to visit a few of the festival’s gardens.

There are plenty to choose from.

The 2022 festival, again sponsored by Bayleys as the principal festival partner, offers 74 garden and art stops – of these, 20 are art studio stops. About 25 per cent of the gardens are new to the festival, and there are twice as many art studio stops compared to the previous festival.

As usual the gardens feature a mix of planting themes and range from rural and rambling to urban and compact.

Right now, tickets can be bought at Palmers Bethlehem (the festival’s returning garden and art trail sponsor) and eventfinda.

Visit www.gardenandartfestival.co.nz for ticket sales and more information about the festival. Tickets to the long lunch are $125.


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