Lynda Hallinan

Lynda Hallinan is a gardener, author, broadcaster, journalist, part-time farmer, parent and plantaholic.

For half her life, the former editor of New Zealand Gardener magazine has been digging up ideas and inspiration for growing food and flowers in Kiwi gardens. Lynda is an entertaining speaker who imparts her wisdom with a generous spadeful of common sense advice and a good crop of laughs.

Lynda lives with her family in the foothills of the Hunua Ranges, south-east of Auckland, and is currently splitting her time between her large country garden and a small colonial cottage renovation project. She’s also launching a new book on The Joy of Gardening this year.

Due to Covid restrictions Lynda Hallinnan is unable to travel from Auckland and therefore we have had to cancel both of her speaking events. We apologise for any inconvenience and refunds wil be issued in due course.  We will try to engage Lynda Hallinan for 2022.


The Studio Home Sessions with Julia Atkinson-Dunn

The Studio Home Sessions are a small series of free to attend talks, hosted by Julia Atkinson-Dunn of Studio Home and the generous owners of three inspiring gardens involved in this year’s Hurunui Garden Festival.

Working with Julia, the gardeners will concentrate on walking tours, open Q+A and demonstrations focused on knowledge beneficial to those starting out.

As Julia can attest, being a gardener for only 4.5 years herself, the wisdom and advice departed by experienced gardeners in her local region have been the richest source of information to give confidence for her own progression.

At just the festival gate price of $10 per person, attendees of each talk will receive a guided tour of the garden, are free to ask questions, and can be assured Julia will be prompting further relevant ones to support those at the start of their gardening life.

This is a new and exceptional opportunity focused on beginners, and a terrific chance to take a day or two to explore the beautiful Hurunui region of North Canterbury.

The Hurunui Garden Festival runs from the 28th – 31st October, opening 22 private gardens and homesteads, intermingled with artist studios and exhibitions to the public. The simple self-drive format allows visitors to pick and choose where to visit using the festival map and pay just $10 per person to enter each beautiful location.

11:00 Friday 29th October – Penny Zino of ‘Flaxmere’ (page 25)

“What works long term – thoughts and advice from a gardener of 55 years”

‘Flaxmere’ is an incredible garden carved out of dry paddocks in the harsh climate of Hawarden, North Canterbury. Wind, snow, wildly unpredictable frosts and water availability are all issues she has had to contend with. While it is more expansive than most, Penny has encyclopedic knowledge to share about planting shelter, plants that thrive, trees, creating seasonal interest and the concept of naturalistic style planting. Every corner can provide inspiration for even the smallest gardens in the Canterbury region.

11:00am Saturday 30th October – Doreen Dryden of ‘Loch Leven’ (page 47)

“How to propagate to replenish your garden”

‘Loch Leven’ is a fascinating garden in the Amuri Basin, demonstrating creative plant combinations, hard landscaping, and a gorgeous spring display. With the growth of her passion, Doreen has also created her own productive nursery supplying top garden centres in Canterbury. Learning to be resourceful in the creation of her outside spaces, she has an immense amount of knowledge to share with us on techniques to propagate all sorts of plants to further fuel the beauty of the garden she has created.

11.00am Sunday 31st October – Robert Day of ‘Ribbonwood Country House’ (page 59)

“How to establish and plan an edible garden”

Developed from a paddock of grass and thistles just 8 years ago, ‘Ribbonwood Country House’ is an inspiring example of a ‘new’ garden and one designed to support a thriving B&B operation. Based near Cheviot, North Canterbury, Robert Day will walk us through the trials and discoveries of creating a vegetable and produce based area that sustains his household. This will be a fascinating session for those with a passion to create a garden to do the same.

About Julia Atkinson-Dunn

Julia Atkinson-Dunn is the creative behind Studio Home and author of beginner gardening book; ‘Petal Power’. With a background in writing, design and art, Julia fell firmly in love with gardening while transforming her small Christchurch patch just 4.5 years ago. Documenting her adventure via her social channels and her weekly column with Stuff and The Press, Julia is a committed cheerleader of helping others discover the magic in creating gardens for themselves.


Escorted Garden and Art Tour with South Island Tours NZ

October 28th -November 1st, 2021

Come on a fully escorted small group tour to see the wonderful Hurunui Gardens.
We have put together a full package for you to enjoy a great spring holiday break.

Tour starts and finishes in Christchurch.

  • 5 days of activities
  • 4 night’s accommodation
  • 4 breakfasts
  • 4 lunches
  • 3 evening dining experiences
  • Hanmer Springs Fete entry
  • 12 garden entries
  • Meet local artisans

Contact for full tour details
Phone: 0274 351955


Akaroa Cooking School Masterclass

Join Ant and Lou Bentley from the Akaroa Cooking School for a Spring Harvest inspired Masterclass whilst visiting one of North Canterbury’s most gorgeous gardens. They will cover a three-course menu that can be easily replicated in your own home during a one hour demonstration with tastings to finish.

Price: $45 per person including arrival drink, recipes, and tastings.
Where: Waihui Garden, 395 Sandersons Road, Rotherham
When: Thursday 28th October 2021, 11am or 1.30pm

Book direct with ACS via their website.


Waipara Gorge Magical Mystery Tour

Introduction and guided tour with Dr Kate Pedley, geologist Canterbury University.

Very few places in the world have fossils carbon dated 60 million years old as in the Waipara Gorge. A 20 minute guided tour downstream on flat land to the junction of the north and south branches of the Waipara River, is where these magnificent concretions are. There is something very magical about seeing concretions in their natural environment. Dr Kate Pedley will talk about how these ancient concretions were formed and share insights about the fossils and geological history of the area.

Karetu Downs is a privately owned property, and there is no Queens Chain on this part of the Waipara River. Please be mindful of the unique opportunity to explore this special place. Take nothing, leave only footprints.
Good walking shoes recommended.

Tours: Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st starting 12:30 pm. Tour includes lunch and entry to Karetu Downs.
Cost: $35 per person.
Price: Garden entry and tour only: $20

Book direct with Karen, by calling her on 03 314 4584