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NZ Gardener Digs Up The Nation's 15 Most Passionate Gardeners

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

25 August 2008 - A Gisborne banana grower, an 87-year-old eco-activist and an Otago garden club president who got her gear off for a good cause are among the 15 regional winners in the NZ Gardener 2008 Gardener of the Year competition. The 15 unsung horticultural heroes, from Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawke's Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu-Wanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Southland, each take home a $1000 prize package and a fitting trophy - a brand new stainless steel spade. They're now also in the running for the supreme title of NZ Gardener 2008 Gardener of the Year and a prize package including $5000 to spend at Bunnings Warehouse and a luxury trip for two to Hunter's Garden Marlborough in November. NZ Gardener editor and chief judge Lynda Hallinan says this year's crop of regional winners shows that community spirit is alive and well in Kiwi backyards. "We're thrilled to be able to recognise and reward the efforts of these keen green thumbs who give so much back to their local communities, whether it's by opening their gardens for charity events, setting up vege plots in primary schools or teaching beginners how to make compost." "It's also heartening to hear about so many community-based gardening initiatives, like Sister Loyola Galvin's rent-a-plot scheme for apartment dwellers in Wellington, to Sol Morgan's mentoring programme for Nelson families who want to grow healthy food at home." The regional winners are: Howard Plank, Northland; Margaret Jones, Auckland; Rena Williams, Waikato; Heather Young, Bay of Plenty; Rodger Bodle, Gisborne; Janet Chambers, Hawke's Bay; Marjie Brickley, Manawatu/Wanganui; Donna Busby, Taranaki; Sister Loyola Galvin, Wellington; Sol Morgan, Nelson; Julie Williams, Marlborough; Michelle Cambie, West Coast; Jenny Lawrence, Canterbury; Midge Ruka, Otago; Chris Rance, Southland. The supreme winner of the NZ Gardener 2008 Gardener of the Year title is decided by a public vote. The 15 regional winners - and official voting form - feature in the September issue of NZ Gardener, on sale now. Pick up a voting form and get behind your regional gardening heroes in the latest issue of NZ Gardener on sale now.

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