Art In A Garden

Annual Art Event North Canterbury

Art in a Garden is the largest annual art exhibition held in the South Island. Our aim is to share this awe-inspiring platform with artists every year from all around New Zealand exhibiting their work of all mediums. We want to provide an engaging and creative experience in the heart of rural North Canterbury.

Art in a Garden foster’s creativity for artists producing large-scale installations, paintings, photography, prints, ceramics, glass and jewellery. It is a must see exhibition, a must do event, in a garden like no other.

Music filters through the garden and the stream side café serves picnic box lunches, local wine, tea/coffee and sweet treats.

Art in a Garden is held every spring at Flaxmere near Hawarden, an hour’s drive north from Christchurch. The road north passes through the grape growing district of Waipara before turning inland towards the limestone escarpments of the Weka Pass and the farmlands of the Waikari basin. From Waikari the road heads west to Hawarden and Flaxmere via the Lake Sumner road. Flaxmere, a garden of National Significance sits on the river bed terraces of the Waitohi River.


Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the gate (cash only).
Cafe style food and drinks will be available at the cottage alongside live music on all four days.

Gate Sales: $25 (Cash Only)
School Children: Free
Earlybird Admission: $20.00
Lunch Admission: $25.00

Buy Tickets

For corporate and group bookings please contact Laura Forbes


View all artists

Food & Drink

Cafe style food and gourmet picnic lunchboxes are available at the garden cottage all day where you can listen to the music and taste locally grown wines, enjoy a hot coffee or tea and relax with friends. Perhaps you could even have a walk through the garden and come backnto enjoy a traditional ice cream wafer.

“And now the lunch! It was difficult to know what to eat first or leave till last. The sandwiches were lovely and fresh and tasty, the little feta stuffed pepper was a real treat, but the chocolate truffle was the highlight! Can I have another one please” – Maureen, U3A
Pre ordered gourmet Picnic lunchboxes are available for those purchasing tickets online:

The Music

Art in a Garden has live music playing every day just across the river from our garden Cafe.

The 2018 line up 

Davey Backyard

Davey Backyard is one of the other personas of Christchurch Musician David Thorpe – AKA Li’l Chuck The One Man Skiffle Machine, The Harmonica Guy, DG Mitchellthorpe and many more!. He is a veteran performer and until recently spent well over a decade in rollicking Irish combo The Black Velvet Band.

Davey performs fresh interpretations of old classics playing a mix of Blues, Classic Country, Folk, Jazz styles throwing his original material into the mix.

Willie McArthur

A Scot living in Christchurch, Willie has been entertaining audiences for more than 20 years. He has performed in the U.K and toured in Europe. Currently, Willie plays as a solo, and in 3 piece powerhouse “The Shameless Few”.

As a one-man band, Willie presents a modern approach to the traditional style with Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Harmonica and vocals all at once, and introducing Low Whistle and Mandolin.

Lou Days

Lou Days is the one half of the duo, funky hot mamas with singer/performer Leigh Wilson.   Lou has been singing for her supper since she was 16 years old… so that’s…. a long time! Experienced in performing all types of musical genres Lou enjoys singing music with a blues/rockabilly feel.


Epic Duo

Epic Duo North Canterbury based 2 piece featuring Kevin Frewer on keys and daughter Celine Graham on vocals. Kevin commenced his music career young, at 15 years old playing at nightclubs around Christchurch and has collaborated with many of Christchurch’s most prominent musicians ever since.

Celine has been singing with him for a year now and they are enjoying performing hits from a wide range of artists from the 70’s through to current day.

Fraser Ross

Eccentric-folk musician Fraser Ross returned to New Zealand in 2015 after three years of living and touring in Europe and the UK, mostly Scotland. On his return he toured his debut LP, Mongrels (Home Alone Music, 2015) throughout New Zealand, supporting such bands as Phoenix Foundation, French for Rabbits, The Nudge, and Nadia Reid.

His first two EPs, And Birds Do Sing (HAM, 2009) and To Places (HAM, 2012) established him as a serious talent and a brilliant, loud-shirted presence within the New Zealand underground.

Photo Gallery

2017 Event

Browse photos

The Garden

Over 50 years ago on a North Canterbury sheep farm, the garden at Flaxmere was established, boldly designed to frame the breath taking mountain vistas and create a sense of tranquility with a series of ponds. Situated near the Southern Alps at an altitude of 300 metres, Flaxmere has developed into a stunning example of a Garden that evolves with the seasons, unforgettably splendid at any time of the year.

Flaxmere has been made a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Garden Trust which is affiliated to the Royal Institute of Horticulture.
Visitors from around the world have been welcomed for many years, and as this is a perfect natural garden gallery Penny Zino has opened her garden for an annual presentation of artworks by some of New Zealand’s finest sculptors and painters.

Getting There

You can find us at 128 Westenras Road Hawarden. View map

The North Canterbury region

The following links may be interesting for those wishing to stay in the area, or experience some other local activities.





Up until 2016 we have raised funds for two charities, St John, Amuri and the Cancer Society. From 2017 we have been focusing on supporting one charity, St John, Amuri:  Something we consider vital in our rural environment. This event is run by rural people in rural North Canterbury, sharing what we’ve got and collaborating with New Zealand artists, connecting them with you.

Art in A Garden’s

Proud Sponsors

  • The People’s Choice Sponsor

  • Children’s Ceramic Workshop Sponsor

Art In A Garden on Instagram