Hopes for sun at Kimbolton garden fair
The forecast looks favourable for Kimbolton’s biggest day of the year as organisers prepare for the Cross Hills Gardens Country Fair.
About 180 stallholders will attend the event with crowds of up to 5000 people expected to make the trip to the renowned rhododendron garden on Saturday.
Wet conditions in the lead-up to last year’s event, and years before that, have organisers praying to the weather gods that the elusive Manawatu¯ sunshine will grace Kimbolton this weekend.
Their prayers may have been answered, with forecasts predicting rays of sunshine painting the Manawatu¯ countryside this weekend, organiser Angela Wilson said.
‘‘I must have been a bad person in my past life because we haven’t had much luck for the past nine years.’’
The event has grown from when it started with only 60 stalls nine years ago.
There’s usually everything from garden tools to plants to handmade products and, with typically 200 stalls, there’s not too much that won’t be there.
It’s quite a transformation as what is usually a vacant paddock hosts stalls from all over the bottom of the North Island.
With more than 15 food stalls, the event is Kimbolton’s biggest day of the year.
The rhododendron gardens at Cross Hills have grown to encompass more than seven hectares and 2000 varieties of the tree-sized shrubs - the colours ranging from translucent whites and creams, to yellows, mauves, oranges, pinks and rich, deep reds.
There was even a maze for children to enjoy while parents browsed the stalls. Guests are given a map of the fair layout, garden and facilities on entry. The event costs adults $15 to enter.
Rice rissotto on the boil at the Cross Hills Country Fair in 2016.