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A Small Surprise at the New Zealand Flower and Garden Show
Friday 1 December 2017, 1:33PM
By Beckie Wright

Lord of the Rings fans can visit a little piece of Hobbiton at the New Zealand Flower and Garden Show this spring.  This weekend, green-thumbs and movie enthusiasts can wander around the home of a hobbit in Auckland’s Trusts Arena. The garden has been designed by Brian Massey, who was one of the art directors on The Hobbit films, and has been involved in a number of garden shows and events.

The 10m x 10m garden will be complete with a full-sized hobbit hole. Hobbiton’s head gardener Pam Russ said that this is the home of a bee-keeping hobbit. She has been busy working with her team of horticulturists to transplant comfrey and mint plants from the Hobbiton site, which is based in Matamata. The garden will also feature nasturtiums, snapdragons, tobacco, sunflowers, climbing jasmine, berry bushes and lots of vegetables.

The gardeners have been using cuttings and seeds to grow the necessary plants. A fruit tree is the final touch to the garden – straight from Pippin’s orchard. Five trees were lifted from his soil in the winter, and two will be transported to Auckland in time for the show. Pam said, “We just managed to lift them while they were still dormant. They are coming into leaf and flower now. They all have crazy shapes to them but that is not how they have been pruned, it’s how they grew.” However, the set only requires one tree, so the team will pick the best tree closer to the time.

Hobbiton is a famous tourist destination, but locals love to wander the quaint location as well. Pam said, “People come to catch a glimpse of what they have seen in the movies and read in the books. But I'm not sure they are expecting to see as much as they do. You do hear gasps when they come through the cuttings and see the gardens and the plants." The land has over 40 hobbit holes, and each imagined character has a story.

Pam describes the well-ordered chaos: "Some hobbits keep their gardens very tidy, some of them are hard-working. Some might have gone off for the day, so their garden might have got a bit overgrown. There's even one hobbit hole which is home to a drunken hobbit who does no work on his garden whatsoever. There are bottles lying in the long grass and weeds growing up by the door! But generally, in between the eating and the sleeping and the drinking, hobbits do quite a lot of gardening."

While hobbits keep themselves busy with gardening, Kiwis are often busy with other matters and don’t have time to tend to their lawn. For those who don’t have time to prune and mow, Crewcut offers garden maintenance and lawn care services. If you feel like you need professional garden service after visiting the New Zealand Flower and Garden Show, contact Crewcut.

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