|Back at the start of 2011 the Newtown Festival tested the water about including a Newtown Garden Tour in the Festival programme. It turned out that most people approached were actually keen to tour gardens, rather than stay home and be visited, some were also a bit nervous about having a public open-day crowd wandering around their gardens. With many keen to meet and share with other local gardeners the fledgling Gardeners Group began, and has been getting together roughly monthly since early 2012.Across our suburb there are many long term residents with planting skills and garden tools, while they often know their immediate neighbours the Garden Club idea was to create a suburb wide interconnection, and make new friends. Getting to know each other, sharing practical knowledge and expertise has made a new informal network that we realise might also be useful in a civil defence emergency, we at least have spades, and know how to dig!Most months involve visiting a member’s house for some show-and-tell, sharing of plants, tea, coffee and biscuits, but some have involved site visits to places of interest. Hosts have ranged from the floral gardeners to the home vegetable enthusiasts (including the serious bee and chicken keeping variety). In May we visited Neville Chun’s amazing orchard garden in Naenae, for tips on fruit tree propagating and pruning. Neville’s family used to own the Zenith Garden Centres in the Hutt, and ran their famous family shop in Manners Street many years ago. (Neville propagates trees and sells these on Trade Me)
Eventually in years to come we do intend to hold public tours as part of the Newtown Festival.
If you would like to join the garden club, or be notified of future meetings and events, drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with GARDENERS in the title line, or call in to Next Stop Earth (76 Constable St) and talk to Jeanie.