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A look at gardens that are living works of art, developed by creative women all around New Zealand.

This book celebrates the endeavours and achievements of women gardeners who are responsible for some of the most-admired gardens within New Zealand. Often starting as a home-based hobby, fitting around child care and other domestic tasks, the gardens developed by the women featured in this book have evolved into living works of art.

Scattered from the far north to Stewart Island, these gardens have a few things in common. Each one has been developed by a woman responding to her own landscape and locale with energy and verve. Often an outlet for a creative urge, the gardens portray a wide cross-section of styles. The stories of the gardeners also share common bonds – hard work and a passion for the landscape – but also stories of combating isolation, loss and joining a sisterhood of gardeners.

Some gardens are well known and justly celebrated both here and overseas: Bev McConnell’s Ayrlies in Auckland, and Margaret Barker’s garden at Larnach Castle in Dunedin. Others are undiscovered gardens worthy of wider attention. Gracious country rose gardens, inner city courtyards and edible gardens all feature.


Flourish is a beautiful coffee-table catalogue of New Zealand's most beautiful gardens and the women who have created them...The gardeners themselves are as diverse as the landscapes they craft. Swathes of colours - fresh florals, bright greens and earthy natives - are captured in the accompanying photographs; you can almost smell the roses.

Gianina Schwanecke, North & South

Gorgeous, inspirational and blooming lovely ... the green-fingered artistry of New Zealand women is on display here in a gorgeous garden tour that travels from Northland to Stewart Island. Beautiful photographs accompany the gardeners' stories.

Rowena Mara, Australian Women's Weekly

Perfect for the garden fan this Christmas.

Wairarapa Times-Age Weekend

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 29, 2018

    RHNZ Godwit

    288 pages

    RRP $55.00

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Meet Marlborough landscape designer Rosa Davison

If anyone you know has a serious case of native plant nausea, an affliction caused by exposure to dull municipal or motorway landscaping, the doctor is in: Rosa Davison has concocted the cure.