Gar­den’s fu­ture in good hands

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - ERIN TASKER

When Alan Trott pur­chased a plot of land on Race­course Road 37 years ago, it had just 13 trees on it.

Over many years he trans­formed it into a gar­den that is now recog­nised na­tion­ally, and in­ter­na­tion­ally, as one of sig­nif­i­cance. So when he and wife Cather­ine de­cided it was time to move on to smaller pas­tures this year, a group of Ash­bur­ton peo­ple de­cided it had to be looked af­ter and its stan­dards main­tained.

Trotts Gar­dens, on Race­course Road in Ash­bur­ton, is a pop­u­lar wed­ding venue with a chapel on site and end­less photo op­por­tu­ni­ties among the bloom­ing rhodo­den­drons and per­fectly trimmed hedges. It’s owned by the Trotts Gar­den Char­i­ta­ble Trust.

The trust has em­ployed Jane Ash­worth as live-in gar­dener, and a lengthy list of vol­un­teers are pre­pared to give up their time to lov­ingly tend to the gar­den and mow the lawns – a six hour job every time.

It’s hoped the peace­ful gar­dens sur­rounds might one day be utilised by groups like Hospice, and for hor­ti­cul­ture and ed­u­ca­tional classes.

Trotts Gar­den Char­i­ta­ble Trust trus­tee, Jo Tay­lor, said the Trust planned to en­hance what Trotts Gar­dens al­ready had to of­fer.

The Trotts Gar­den Char­i­ta­ble Trust is made up of five trus­tees, and they took over on Septem­ber 15. David Askin has come on board as head gar­dener in a vol­un­tary ca­pac­ity, and the list of vol­un­teers in­cludes many peo­ple who have been long time friends of the Trotts, and who had al­ways ad­mired the gar­dens.

‘‘Some of them would say they’ve never even been able to touch a weed in the gar­den be­fore,’’ Tay­lor said.

Trotts Gar­den will host a busi­ness break­fast with Stephen Tin­dall, who will speak on lead­er­ship and his role within the Amer­ica’s Cup, on Novem­ber 3. Pro­ceeds will go to­wards a lead­er­ship schol­ar­ship un­der the Ad­vance Ash­bur­ton ban­ner.

There will then be an open day at Trotts Gar­den on Novem­ber 5, from 11am un­til 3pm, with gar­den tours con­ducted by Alan Trott, at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and live mu­sic. En­try will be via do­na­tion.

‘‘The open day is re­ally about show­cas­ing the gar­den and let­ting the com­mu­nity know the beau­ti­ful gar­dens are be­ing pro­tected for the fu­ture,’’ Tay­lor said.

All pro­ceeds will go to­wards the main­te­nance and de­vel­op­ment of the prop­erty.

ERIN TASKER/STUFF

Alis­ter McLaren (left) and Alan Wat­son are among the vol­un­teers look­ing af­ter the large Trotts Gar­dens.

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