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A sensory experience: Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts

They moved on 2 September to their new prime-spot location on Williams Street, Kaiapoi, and with a spectacular 16 metre display window, owner Suzie Lambert can’t wait to get creative, for when it comes to Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts, Suzie says it’s all about the senses.



Sight – The impact of colour in this large, airy space of massed flowers, bouquets, potted colour, pots and vases, and exquisite French Country silk flowers (the biggest selection in Christchurch, which can be arranged in customers’ own vases) is visually stunning.

Sound – The tiered water fountain with its gentle trickle of water makes for a soothing background accompaniment while wandering through this delightful flowery bowery.

Smell – Bask in a myriad of flower scents, then nuzzle your nose amongst the heavenly scented candles and diffusers from Mor (Marshmallow, Peony, Pomegranate, Belladonna, Snow Gardenia and Lychee Flower), the food-fragranced Waxglo collection and new room-scenting ranges from Australia and America. What an olfactory oasis!

Taste – If it’s something sweet you seek to win that special person’s favour, then a box of award-winning Devonport Chocolates, such as the scrumptious Luxurious Chocolate Assortment, will have them surrendering in no time.

Touch – With an extensive giftware range that’s ever-changing, take time to inspect frames, mirrors, ornaments and household ware, unique cards-to-cherish and so much more.

“Our flowers are always different,” Suzie says, “That’s why our customers love coming here.”

Find Kaiapoi Florist & Gifts at 178E River View Terraces, Williams Street, Kaiapoi. Phone 03 327 6535 or visit All products are available online 24/7.



Central City Flowers

A floral fixation: Central City Flowers

Central City Flowers has relocated from South City Mall to 92 Colombo Street (corner of Fisher Avenue), and owner, Allan Jarden, is rapt because 12 years ago, he was working at the very same premises. “It’s like being home again. It’s a great neighbourhood around here.”


Central City Flowers


Allan and his team specialise in weddings, but also do corporate flowers, sympathy flowers, living plants, exquisite giftware, and gourmet gift hampers, including gluten-free. They deliver locally, nationally and internationally through Interflora.
Allan began learning his trade in his teens; now, with more than 40 years in the business, the fully qualified florist says he wouldn’t be doing anything else. “I love my job – I’m passionate about my work!”

All Allan’s certificates, including his diploma and Master Florist, were obtained through NZ Professional Florists. Currently, Allan is President of Interflora Pacific Unit, which necessitates quite a lot of international travel.

In fact, Allan’s standing in the world of floristry is held with such high regard that on 23 February, he headed to Philadelphia to judge the Interflora World Cup, one of the biggest, most prestigious floral events in the world. There are 23 countries taking part this year. Allan was one of only six judges.

When asked about his surname, Allan smiles. Way back in time, and due to his French lineage, Allan’s surname was spelt Jardin – the French word for garden. He agrees that yes, it does seem that he and flowers were destined to be together.


Phone 03 961 8165, visit or find on Facebook at


Ashburton’s Blooming Beauty

Ashburton’s Blooming Beauty

A garden blooming with flowers and trees, shrubs, and an array of colourful foliage creates a serene, embracing atmosphere endearing to the heart. As you head out south of Christchurch, along State Highway One and into Ashburton, you will find just that.


Ashburton’s Blooming Beauty


As you enter the town, turn right at the entrance and drive along Racecourse Road. When you catch sight of the gardens, turn left and drive down an avenue of towering trees, where you’ll enter the horticultural wonderland that is Trott’s Garden.
Ashburton’s secret garden started as one man’s dream to transform a barren four-hectare paddock, creating a space that people would visit and enjoy, inspiring others to create something special on their own land.

Late last year when Alan Trott retired, his only request was that the property remained part of the Ashburton community. The Trott’s Gardens Charitable Trust was formed to purchase the property, rallying a team of volunteers and forming a management committee to maintain and develop the gardens.


Ashburton’s Blooming Beauty

Since the first spade of soil was turned in 1984, the Trott family has planted a large area now known as the woodland garden, home to 650 rhododendrons. The display of colour from early September until autumn is stunning as rhododendron bloom among stately trees.

Some 50 species of magnolia, 70 different kinds of maples and 40 different varieties of the dogwood family give some idea of the scale of this area, which is underplanted with hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas. Nearby is a bog garden with a stream that flows into a pond edged with many fine water plants, lilies and irises. The pond, from the near side, is free of plantings and so reflects a perfect image of the sky and garden beyond.

One of the highlights of the gardens are the perennial borders running 110 meters in length, enclosed by tightly trimmed macrocarpa hedges. The borders contain only perennial plants, a rarity in the southern hemisphere and, unlike many perennial borders, these contain no natives or roses.


Ashburton’s Blooming Beauty

A special area of the garden is the red border. Developed in 2005, it is a six metre deep, 60 metre long border, featuring hundreds of plants that are either red in foliage or flower.  There are sweeping lawns and a lookout tower provides exceptional views of the bog, the water garden and the rare knot garden that fronts the garden’s chapel, where many weddings are held every year.

The New Zealand Gardens Trust awarded Trott’s Garden six stars (its highest category) and designated it as a NZ Garden of International Significance, as it is considered to be outstanding for its horticultural value. Alan himself was awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2017 for his services to horticulture.


Trott’s Garden is open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday to Sunday by appointment only.


A floral feast

A floral feast

A romantic richness has adorned the wedding day in boldly coloured bridal bouquets and reception floral arrangements.


A floral feast


Following on from the flowery feast we are enjoying in fashion, this vivacious trend will embellish weddings in 2019.  After the last few years of white and muted blooms, brides will be choosing pretty pinks through to deep-indigo hues. The wild, freshly picked look is perfect with this exciting trend.

A collage of colour, such as rich-scarlet garden roses, or large-petalled poppies, can really complement a bride’s ruby red lipstick – and look so photogenic against even the simplest white dress. Plush burgundy peonies will be magical for those getting married later in the year.

Greenery still graces the celebratory tables and the reception areas. However, those white stems now make way for more vibrant blooms amongst the leaves. Interesting structural foliage and loud flowers will enchant dresses and tablecloths. Even magenta bougainvillea is a flush of vibrancy to drape amidst the celebration.

In fact, vivid violet, and all renditions of the colour purple, is a hot palette trend that’s invited to the wedding. Hydrangeas, sweet peas, dahlias and purple daisies are set to bedazzle on the big day. Whereas the gentle meandering blooms such as larkspur, delphiniums and sweet peas add a romantic whimsy.

We will also see more colourful floral crowns, as a change from the tiara.



Blooming Delicious

Blooming Delicious

When it comes to summer entertaining, you want to impress your guests with eats that look as good as they taste. Why not up your culinary game with edible flowers?


Blooming Delicious


While flowers have been used by cultures throughout the world for thousands of years, it seems these beautiful blooms have now gone upmarket, adorning the plates of high-end restaurants globally.
Edible flowers not only make colourful and tasty additions to your cooking, they can also transform your summer drinks into talking points. Just freeze your flowers in ice cubes and add to your summer tipples.

We look at 10 blooming delicious examples:

All in for alliums: Alliums include the cultivated onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leek and chives, all which make for delicious additions to green salads, potato and pasta salads and dips.

Never forget nasturtiums: Nasturtium blossoms have a peppur like watercress. All colours and varieties are tasty in salads or as garnishes, with their leaves able to be eaten too.

Must-have marigolds: With a mildly citrus taste, marigold petals can be sprinkled into salads. With colours ranging from pure yellow to orange and red, they are as much a feast for the eyes as they are for the belly.

Pretty as a pansy: Pansies have a wintergreen flavour and are pretty on cakes and other desserts.

Sweet as honeysuckle: Although its berries are poisonous, honeysuckle blossoms make a pretty, and safe, addition to salads.

Forage some borage: The fuzzy-leaved herb borage has sky-blue flowers with a light cucumber taste. Add to fruit salads, green salads or freeze in ice cubes for cold drinks.

Cute little chamomile: A pretty plant that graces the herb garden with masses of small flowers, chamomile offers a tasty apple-like flavour.

Newly minted: All flowers of the mint family make for tasty additions to your cooking. Try lemon balm or spearmint in iced tea.

Game of squash: Squash blossoms can be used as a garnish, made into fritters or chucked into a stir-fry.

Stop and eat the roses: All roses are edible, with miniature varieties ideal to garnish ice cream and desserts, while larger petals can be sprinkled on desserts or salads.



NZ Flower and Garden Show

Gardens for Tomorrow: Win with Metropol

Gardeners are endearing optimists. Frosts herald blue skies and sunny days, and there’s no such thing as a depressing winter garden when, already, jonquils are scenting the air and daphne buds are soon to flower. Gardeners don’t live for today; they’re too busy dreaming of tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that.

NZ Flower and Garden Show
Metropol has four of these any day early bird double passes to give away to readers who want to head up to the event. To enter, just visit, enter your details and click which competitions you wish to enter. Entries close Monday 13 August and winners will be notified Tuesday 14 August.


One event that will have Kiwi gardeners dreaming of a certain tomorrow with giddy anticipation is the NZ Flower and Garden Show 2018. Beginning 28 November through till 2 December at West Auckland’s Trust Arena, this is a garden show like no other. Last year’s inaugural NZ Flower and Garden Show saw some 28,000 people pass through the gates.
Christchurch writer and garden commentator, Rachel Vogan, returns to the show’s judging panel this year for the tenth time and says the desire for people to grow food to feed their families has become a visible trend which she expects will be reflected in the show.
“It’s phenomenal, really. While people are still wanting strong elements of design in their gardens, they’re also wanting areas to grow their own food; we lost that fundamental urge for two generations and now we seem to be reclaiming it – which is fantastic!”

Rachel says that as a plant expert, she will be on the lookout for good planting and a different way to use plants. “Plant use and plant appropriateness is important to me, followed by design – finding clever ways to use small places. Sustainability is hugely important, also designs that are environmentally careful, because the sustainability component is a big consideration in judging.”
The judging process is based on the UK’s Royal Horticultural Society standards, so there’s a very strict criteria that has to be followed. “We have the best international judges, which helps keep the New Zealand judges upskilled and ensures we’re current with the latest overseas trends. It’s very stimulating to work with these global experts.”
For Canterbury gardeners, consider taking a couple of days in Auckland to enjoy other gardens in the area. Visit for information on garden tours which coincide with the event.

Saving the best news till last is that discounted early bird tickets are available for purchase before 31 August. With early bird tickets valid for ANY DAY of the five-day show, they guarantee all our dreaming, endearing and optimistic gardeners out there a truly spectacular time. For more information, visit

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Samantha Rose Flowers

The art of Flowers & Wine: Samantha Rose Flowers

On Friday 6 July, something a little special took place at Burnett Street. Number 179 Burnett Street, is occupied by Samantha Rose Flowers. Sam, as she is commonly known around the Mid Canterbury region, paired up with Charlie and Esma Hill from CharRees Vineyard and welcomed seven ladies into the store for Ashburton’s very first Foral Arrangement + Wine Tasting and Nibbles evening.

Samantha Rose Flowers
Attendees used deep green foiliage, with flowers in darker pinks and splashes of crisp winter white to create eye catching displays, under the watchful eye of Samantha. The ladies were also guided through a taste sensation of exquisite CharRees Vineyard wines and sustenance was provided from a delectable YesChef grazing plank.
From the laughs and smiles that were heard and seen it seems Ashburton has been waiting for the perfect pairing of passionate entrepreneurs to bring something a little different to a Friday evening.