Spring is a time for celebration! The memories of a long, cold winter seem to quickly fade in the kaleidoscope of spring flowers sparkling in the warming sun that promise a bountiful summer ahead. What a great time for a party! And that is exactly what many enterprising gardeners are doing to celebrate the season and raise money for worthwhile causes.
The old idea of the garden party has taken a new turn in recent years with the introduction of garden festivals, tours and special events all planned to raise funds for various projects. Most of these floral extravaganzas have been hugely successful. This is probably because green is “in” right now and gardening is a great way to express one’s commitment to the Living Earth.
People enjoy meeting one another especially over a shared interest like gardening. And by visiting someone else’s patch of paradise we often learn a lot about the gardener while discovering new plant varieties, styles of design, combinations of colours and textures, and often make new friends of the human and “green” kind. It’s all very worthwhile and money well spent.
The Trinity Garden Festival held in Auckland last spring was an inspiring example of what can be done when a group of dedicated gardeners pool their resources for a common cause. The idea behind Trinity was to raise money for the completion of the Auckland Cathedral in Parnell.
Under the direction of passionate gardeners like Bev McConnell and Judy Lalety thousands of volunteers were organised and over 70 gardens were opened to the public. More than 20,000 people came to the party over three days and raised $250,000 for the project.
Christchurch, New Zealand’s Garden City, is famous for it’s Floral Festival and floral/garden tours that raise money for various charities and to maintain the Garden City Trust that promotes many garden-related projects.
In recent years the dynamic Dunkley family have pooled the resources and talents of three generations of relations to build the spectacular GardeNZ garden shows in Hagley Park.
These shows feature spectacular displays, lectures and seminars by specialists and celebrities, and trade stands of all descriptions where the public can buy plants, materials, tools, etc. while learning new ideas and seeing new introductions to the garden world.
The most recent GardeNZ attracted 20,000 people over three days and sold half a million plants!
On a smaller scale, the Uxbridge Centre, Uxbridge Rd. Howick has organized a Garden Safari for Nov.6-8 to raise money for a variety of projects in the Community Centre.
20 gardens are featured from small suburban to grand country estates, each with a special charm, and an interesting gardener or two behind them. Call 5356467 or 5356474 for tickets.
Garden festivals, safaris, special events and parties have got to be one of the most interesting and rewarding ways of raising funds, making friends, and supporting the community.
Try one in your own group or community to raise funds, raise community spirit and create a Garden Paradise here in N.Z.
5th. Season Christmas Party 2008
Heroic Garden Festival Ad 2010
Heroic Garden Festival 2010 - Media Release
Heroic Garden Festival 2012