Flaxmere Garden:50 years of extremes

Author(s): Grant Mangin

New Zealand Gardens | NZ Writing

Years of record breaking droughts, ferocious winds, searing summer temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, along with harsh frosts and freezing winters of -15 degrees Celsius are not ideal conditions to create a 5-star Garden of National Significance.

Flaxmere Garden 50 years of extremes tells the captivating story of how Penny and John Zino battled the extremes to successfully create the 3.2 hectare garden that attracts about 4000 visitors from New Zealand and around the world each year.

Lavishly illustrated with over 80 pages of full-colour images, Flaxmere Garden 50 years of extremes shares Penny’s design philosophy, along with her choice of plants and planting combinations, and her valuable insights gained from fifty years creating an award-winning garden in a challenging environment. The theme of extremes also relates to how the personal circumstances of the Zino family shaped the development of the garden.

Flaxmere Garden 50 years of extremes is a beautifully illustrated inspirational story, and a source of practical advice for garden designers facing challenging environments. 


Product Information

Over 50 years ago on a North Canterbury sheep farm, the garden at Flaxmere was established, boldly designed to frame breath taking mountain vistas, and create sense of tranquility with a series of ponds.

Situated near the Southern Alps, Flaxmere has developed into a stunning example of a garden that evolves with the seasons, splendid throughout the year.

This is a large country garden based on the principles of strong design, is completely in tune with the terraced riverbed country the garden is part of. Flaxmere’s vistas have been described as ‘art forms’.

Immense use of water creating a series of five ponds, gives a sense of enormous peace, and ensures wonderful bird life. Heavy old bridge timbers have been used and stone walls have been built over the years which add to the country style. This is a garden that has most things, formal, informal, extensive area of New Zealand native plants, woodlands, roses, rhododendrons and water.

Flaxmere has been made a Garden of National Significance by the New Zealand Gardens Trust, which is affiliated to the Royal Institute of Horticulture.

Visitors from around the world have been welcomed for many years.

Grant Mangin is a writer, PR and marketing consultant, TV and video producer who loves telling a good story. Grant met Penny when he directed a TV feature about Flaxmere Garden. Captivated by Penny's personality and garden he offered to write her story. This book is a result of many enjoyable days spent learning about Penny's life, ideas and inspiration. 

General Fields

  • : 9780473409104
  • : PJ Zino Family Trust
  • : PJ Zino Family Trust
  • : October 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 156
  • : Colour photos, B&W illustrations
  • : Grant Mangin
  • : Paperback/Softcover