Artist Lindsay Maindonald is known as the mountain man.
But Maindonald, who has worked as an artist for 40 years, doesn’t just captured it in oil and canvas – he’s also scaled it numerous times.
“I just love the mountain, I’ve painted it so much that I eventually got into tramping and climbing it,” he said.
An extensive collection of Maindonald’s mountain paintings are on display at the Te Popo gardens, as part of the Powerco Taranaki Garden Spectacular.
Maindonald and garden owners Amanda and Les Heynie agreed to help each other out and share the community spirit – setting up a studio at the gardens for the duration of the festival, which ends on Sunday November 5.
Te Popo gardens, near Stratford, is a woodland garden with exotic trees and conifers, ponds, a waterfall and a fern gully, but the coolest part is an old wooden swing bridge.
The Heynies, who have owned the property for nearly two years, said they had put lots of work into the garden, which also includes accommodation and a cafe.
“When we bought it we had to do a bit of work to it, we gave it a bit of a make over,” Amanda said.
“We want to make this a garden of significance.”
Amanda said it took around six hours just to mow the lawns on the property and they had a number of staff who helped out too.
Husband Les who works as engineering project manager also comes home on the weekends and pitches in to help as well.
“He does all the heavy duty stuff,” she said.
The improvements have meant they had been really busy with people during the festival and have had around 400 people through the gates to come look around.
“Our goal was to get more people than last year and we’ve achieved that, we just want people to enjoy the garden.”