South­landers to pot around gar­dens

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - RE­BECCA MOORE

South­land is ‘‘buzzing’’ with tourism in light of new at­trac­tions, and one keen gar­dener wants to build on that.

South­land Open Gar­dens or­gan­iser Lynne Hug­gins is busy plan­ning this year’s open day, but would also like to see a fes­ti­val brought to the re­gion in com­ing years.

‘‘South­land is just buzzing.’’ The re­gion’s at­trac­tions, in­clud­ing Bill Richard­son Trans­port World, Mo­tor­cy­cle Mecca and Dig This were lift­ing tourism so there were op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand on what there was to of­fer vis­i­tors, she said.

Gar­den fes­ti­vals were be­com­ing pop­u­lar around the coun­try, in­clud­ing Taranaki, Auck­land, Ti­maru and Christchurch.

‘‘I could travel around the coun­try and visit them all,’’ Hug­gins said.

‘‘It would be awe­some to have one here.’’

A gar­den fes­ti­val would be a lot of work but Hug­gins thinks it would be well worth­while, and she would be keen to help out if one was to be planned.

This week­end, South­landers will get the chance to pot around in some of the re­gion’s most beau­ti­ful gar­dens in an open day fea­tur­ing about 15 prop­er­ties.

Hug­gins said the open day had been run­ning for about five years and had been grow­ing each year.

Last year more than 100 peo­ple took part, al­though num­bers fluc­tu­ated from gar­den to gar­den.

This year gar­dens from Gore, Castle­rock, In­ver­cargill, Green­hills and Lums­den would be in­cluded.

Dif­fer­ent styles, big or small, in­clud­ing cot­tage, for­mal and quirky gar­dens would be on dis­play.

‘‘We’re al­ways look­ing for more.’’

Peo­ple could visit the gar­dens they wished to through­out the day on Sun­day, walk with the owner or take in the gar­den at their own pace. The day was open to ev­ery­one. Peo­ple from in their 20s to ‘‘grand­mas with sticks’’ of­ten joined the day.

Rea­sons for vis­it­ing var­ied per­son to per­son. Vis­i­tors were of­ten cu­ri­ous, look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion or just wanted to take in the beauty of na­ture this time of year, Hug­gins said.

‘‘Peo­ple want to see what’s out there. ... peo­ple love them. They’re in­spired, amazed that they [the gar­dens] ex­ist out there.’’

The gar­dens would be open from 10am to 5pm on Sun­day.

For a list of gar­dens open visit www.south­landgar­dens.co.nz.

RE­BECCA MOORE/ STUFF

South­land Open Gar­dens or­gan­iser Lynne Hug­gins re­laxes in her gar­den.

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