The Event

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 approximately 80-100 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.

The Artists


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.

11.00am – 2.00pm
Lonesome Sue

11.00am – 3.00pm
Lonesome Sue
Dr Sanchez

11.00am – 3.00pm
Lonesome Sue

11.00am – 3.00pm
Lonesome Sue
Davey Thorpe

The Garden

Over 51 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.


Tickets can be purchased online or on the day of the event at the gate (cash only).

Gate Sales: $25 (Cash Only)
School Children: Free
Earlybird Admission: $20.00
The Opening & General Admission: $80.00
Lunch Ticket: $25.00
St John, Amuri Raffle: $4.00
For corporate and group bookings please contact Laura Forbes

Cafe style food and drinks will be available at the cottage alongside live music on all four days.


Package Deal

Want to make the most of your time in North Canterbury? Check out our other hot SPRING events, including The Fete (Waipara) and The Hurunui Garden Tours (North Canterbury). You can buy General Admission to The Fête + Art in a Garden + Hurunui Garden Tours for $107.00.
Tickets available here.

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 onwards we will be 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.