Hi Everyone, my name is Andre Booth and I am a Kiwi Guide with MoaTours and this is my take on the Canterbury Springtime Gardens & Christmas Fete Tour. When I left school, I spent three years studying Botany and Plant Ecology and have since gone on to work in several different roles in this field, so I was excited when I was asked to lead this tour in my home province. Let’s hope I can recall a lot of the plant names!
The Canterbury Springtime Gardens & Fete tour is timed to highlight a generous handful of established, varied and impressive Canterbury gardens. As you’re aware, New Zealand has weather systems dictated to us by the two very large oceans we sit in the middle of, so we don’t get long periods of settled weather patterns like you would on a larger land mass. Down here in the South Island, the mighty Southern Alps influence our weather also. The advantage of our island weather is that it creates lots of microclimates and this is really highlighted throughout this tour. The Canterbury region is low on humidity and has high rainfall, but areas can experience hard frosts, snow and droughts. So along with the challenges of gardening in these conditions, which our hosts share with us, this climate also brings spectacular rewards especially in the flowering springtime. If you’re a North Island gardener or just have an appreciation of flowering plants then this, I believe, is the tour for you.