Green-fingered Northlanders have been working from dusk to dawn to get their gardens ready for the members of the public who will wander through them.

The Whangārei Garden Discovery - a three day event organised by the Whangārei Quarry Gardens and many volunteers, where enthusiasts can tour through local gardens - begins today.

Kerry Marinkovich, event manager, said the gardeners were working hard in the lead up to the event.

"They absolutely love the event. It's hard work for them, they put their heart and soul in to the event. Some of the gardeners I've been talking to over the last week have been working from dawn to dusk to get their gardens ready," she said.


This year is the 21st Whangārei Garden Discovery. Marinkovich said the event started in conjunction with the Whangārei Quarry Gardens.

"Most of the people who started the garden discovery were all at that time also beginning the quarry gardens and they needed to raise money for the gardens. They thought a garden tour would be a really good way to do it and it became an annual event to raise money for the Whangārei Quarry Gardens."

Marinkovich said the now biennial event had grown "really well" over the years with 1200 people visiting gardens at the last event.

She said this year about 22 gardens are involved, many of which are new to the garden discovery.

"Obviously there's a few that have been on board before, but it's great to see new gardens. Some of them are quite established, some of them are young gardens - so we'll get to see those gardens develop over the years which is a really interesting part of the garden discovery."

Marinkovich said the garden discovery was a good chance for people to gain inspiration for their own backyards.

"A lot of us aspire to have beautiful gardens and it's nice to see how the best gardens have been done so we can take little tips back to our own," she said.

There are three different zones in the garden discovery - the Kamo, Ruatangata West and Kauri area; Onerahi towards Whangārei Heads; and Waipu.


"If you want to see every garden you'd have to break it up in to the three days to get to the three different areas," Marinkovich said.

This year chef Paul Jobin and horticulturist Jason Paulger will be hosting an event, Garden to Table, which is on tomorrow from 5pm at the Whangārei Quarry Gardens and Sunday from 10am at a private home.

"Because it's a garden event they're going to talk about growing food and getting the best from what you're growing in the kitchen - so using the whole plant and not just parts of it," Marinkovich said.

Tickets to the Whangārei Garden Discovery can be purchased from Whangārei Quarry Gardens, Sciadopity's Garden Centre, Palmer's Garden Centre and The Hub.

Tickets to Garden to Table will be available from the Whangārei Quarry Gardens.