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Cashmere Garden Club Goes For Gold

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Cashmere Garden Club 2009 exhibit.
Cashmere Garden Club 2009 exhibit.

With a Silver Distinction Medal at this year's Ellerslie International Flower Show for its Hort Galore exhibit (pictured above), the Cashmere Garden Club is "going for gold" at this year's Show.

The Great Expectations of Bunty Smyth-Jones is the Hort Galore exhibit the Club hopes will win them gold.

The Cashmere Garden Club which celebrates 70 years in 2010 is one of the oldest garden clubs in Christchurch and exhibited at the Ellerslie International Flower Show for the first time this year.

Club secretary Marjorie Columbus says next year's exhibit is about Bunty Smyth-Jones who in the tight economic times has been forced to sell her mansion and move into a small townhouse. "Worst of all, she has had to lay off her gardener."

"We wanted to design a garden for 2010 which depicted what was happening in our community today with the economic recession."

Bunty's new garden has good bones, however, the existing monochromatic green is too dull and Bunty needs to lift her spirits with colour and texture. "She achieves this by underplanting six toparied feijoa trees with arctotis, nasturtiums, alstroemeria and other plants in orange and yellow hues, and flashes of bronze heuchera, interspersed with swathes of native pompom pittosporums.

Marjorie says Bunty has great expectations for her garden and the economic climate, as does the Cashmere Garden Club of winning gold at next year's Show.

The Garden Club's 2009 exhibit was well-received by the crowds and industry, with three of 10 quirky and quaint ideas identified by the New Zealand Gardener as being found in the Cashmere Garden Club's 3m by 3m Hort Galore exhibition space.

The 2009 exhibit depicted a Cashmere garden of the 1940s, while next year's is a day of the 21st Century. Both have been designed by club member Rosemary Everett.

Marjorie says about seven of the club's 88 members, who range in age from 40 to 90, are involved with the project, although the whole club has pitched in with the exhibits.

"Cashmere is a busy club which encourages its many older members to stay active in their own gardens and take part in Club events which include workshops, lectures and regular trips.

"The Club thinks it is fantastic that Ellerslie in now in Christchurch. The Show has already done a lot to unite our own club, provide new members and help promote gardening in the city."

Ellerslie International Flower Show Exhibition Manager Kate Hillier says clubs, like the Cashmere Garden Club, are the grassroots of the horticultural industry and the foundation on which the success of Ellerslie has been built.

"The Hort Galore Marquee is dedicated to these groups who showcase rare, interesting and special plants and promote the value of these plants in the garden.

"This is the marquee where garden lovers and homeowners can learn more about plants and how to become involved in club activities."

She says it is always a popular exhibit at Ellerslie.

Ellerslie International Flower Show is New Zealand's premier week-long Garden Party in Christchurch's North Hagley Park from 10 to 14 March 2010. The Show celebrates Christchurch's Garden City heritage and the best of national and international garden design. Check out the website for further information

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