Christy Ralphs demonstrates how to divide dahlia tubers. Photo Sophie Boladeras

Visitors exploring last weekend’s Jassy Dean Trust’s Waiheke Garden Festival were lucky to enjoy a fair amount of sunshine despite ominous weather forecasts in the lead up to the much-anticipated event. 

Nine gardens around the island each offered something unique, from visiting ducklings to highly productive organic vegetable patches. There were also nine workshops, which delved into niche areas such as bees in the ecosystem and managing garden predators. 

A Saturday evening sundowner event at Rangihoua had to be cancelled, but the Sunday evening thank you event saw a good turnout, with volunteers and organisers enjoying drinks and nibbles. Greg Dean, chairman of the Jassy Dean Trust, which has been supporting Waiheke families for more than 20 years, thanked all the supporters for their work. More than 600 tickets were sold on the weekend and David Mason’s memorial exhibition at Space Art Gallery also raised $4661.

Mr Dean thanked “the unstoppable Ngaio Lewis” – who raised $12,000 from her plant sale over the weekend – as well as the festival committee and the volunteers “for being the face of the trust”.

“Ultimately thank you to our hugely generous garden owners who dedicate a lot of time, energy and money into the gardens so that we can all enjoy them,” he added.

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the event and Mr Dean promised it would likely be the largest yet.
 Sophie Boladeras

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