We asked you guys where we should head to on the Getting Lost page and luckily you guys (thanks again Kayleigh) suggested this gem of a place – Hollard Gardens. My itinerary (such as it was) was already done so I scribbled it on my hand as a reminder if we had time.
It’s just a short drive from Dawson Falls and we arrived just before 5 as the sun was low in the sky. We walked in not knowing what to find and James by this point was keen to get to the hotel and crack open a beer.
We were greeted by a life size cut out of Bernie Hollard. Bernie was a plantsman who started what would be a lifetimes work on this, his private garden in the 1920’s. Bernie it seems was generous in not only his time and care of the land but that in he gifted these gardens to the people of NZ. Right then and there I wanted to go and give the picture of him a giant kiss. What is it about these inspiring men in NZ – men like Bernie and like Barry Brickell that drives them to build something so amazing that they love so much and then give it over so unselfishly so that everyone can enjoy it.
Throughout the gardens there are two paths – Bernies and Roses which somewhat romantically link up later.
We wandered around, with not as much leisure as I would have liked but it had been a long day. At one point as James stepped into the golden light my breath fell away – there was no other word for it but magic.
The smell everywhere you go is heavenly. It changes but never clashes. It’s all encompassing and divine and follows you as you move from fragrance to fragrance.
The flowers, the colours and the wide open spaces are simply amazing. You could wander around all day and paint or take photos or just simply relax and dream.
And if you are going with kids there is a family area that looks amazing too.
The next day as I was working at The Collaboration in New Plymouth and I was talking to one of the other artists about the gardens and she said “there’s fairies in that place for sure” and you know what she’s right.
Wether Bernie meant to or not when he created Hollard Gardens he created an oasis for those seeking the zen, the beauty, the fragrance, the discovery or just to play with fairies.