Taranaki has long had a reputation for its gardens, with many of the country's "significant" and "nationally significant" gardens, as rated by the New Zealand Gardens Trust. Te Kainga Marire, a native plants garden in New Plymouth, is deemed one of only four New Zealand gardens of international significance. Throughout the region, the rainfall and fertile volcanic-ash soils provide excellent growing conditions, in particular for rhododendrons and azaleas, which are celebrated
each spring (October and November) with two Festivals, the PowercoTaranaki Garden Spectacular and the Taranaki Fringe Garden Festival. During these festivals, more than 100 splendid gardens and their colorful profusions are open to the public. Some are open throughout the year, such as Pukerua Park, Pukeiti, and Hollard Gardens. Others are open by appointment outside festival time. Most of these gardens are the labors of love of their private owners, whereas the Taranaki Regional Council supports the development of publicly owned gardens. A brochure listing these gardens is available from i-SITE visitor centers in New Plymouth, Stratford, and Hawera.