Hanging Basket Programme

Baskets back in bloom

Since the year 2000 the Council has hung the flowering baskets throughout the CBD, bringing their splash of colour to our streets right through until Easter.

Around 800 baskets were planted by a willing army of volunteers and Nelmac staff back in October, ensuring the baskets were well established before hanging.

Horticultural Supervisor Peter Grundy says the baskets are the first sign of summer and are admired by the locals and visitors to our city over the festive season.


hanging basketsThe iconic hanging baskets of Nelson City owe their inception to the enthusiasm of the late Alan Drummond. Mr Drummond saw similar displays in cities around the world while travelling and introduced them to Nelson. His efforts to work with the Council, local businesses and enthusiastic supporters led to the hanging of baskets for the first time in the summer of 2000. Years on, with funding now shared between the Council and a huge number of CBD retailers and businesses, the city has nearly 600 baskets in place. Nelson’s hanging baskets are now regarded as the most outstanding examples of this type in the country with positive comments flooding in from locals and tourists alike.

Creation and care

Many people are involved in the annual planning, assembly and care of the hanging baskets. Their enthusiasm and passion for the job is key to the projects ongoing success. Mike Gafa manages the Nelmac Nursery on Atawhai Drive. In May he and his team get underway with the preparation and seeding of the wide range of flowers and plants to be used in the baskets, begonias, geraniums petunias and lobelias.

Mike then works with Council staff to gather volunteers from throughout the community who come together at the Nursery each October to prepare the baskets. They are lined and the flowers carefully transferred from their beds into the baskets. Slow release nutrient ‘plugs’ are then added and the baskets are hung in glasshouses at the nursery, ready to be installed around town throughout the following months to come. Nelmac staff care for the hanging baskets with a daily pruning and replacing any damaged baskets. Watering is automated to ensure that baskets receive a regular supply of water.

How the baskets are funded

The hanging baskets are funded through the cooperation of local businesses who pay a per basket fee of $40 (plus gst) each season. For baskets outside the CBD the cost is $120 (plus GST).

These fees account for approximately 25% of the total programme costs. The remainder comes from the Council with a portion of the budget raised from parking meter revenue in the CBD.

Order or place a reorder for a hanging basket.

Sponsor a hanging basket.

Thank you

The Council would like to say a special thanks to all the businesses who so willingly support the beautification of Nelson by funding the hanging baskets. Your investment is helping create a lasting positive impression of our vibrant city for locals and visitors.