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Red wine gets better with age, cheese gets better with age and so does whiskey and leather – but it’s a little known fact that garden tours round out the top five of this list. As a matter of fact, when they hit 21, as the Barfoot & Thompson Great Greenhithe Garden Tour is this year, their recipe for success is pretty close to perfect…
Eleven stunning privately-owned North Shore gardens, check. Stalls selling all manner of gorgeous things, from art to soy candles to homemade crafts, check. Informative garden talks running throughout the day, check. A pop-up café selling coffee and cakes to rival the very best, check. A fun day out for kids and adults, resulting in extra funds for the children of Greenhithe Kindergarten? Check.
This is community at its finest, with the entire event being put together by volunteers (mostly kindy parents), financially supported by generous local businesses (including Benefitz, who publishes this magazine) and frequented on the day by locals from all over the North Shore, as well as green-fingered groups from further afield. Every year buses arrive from around the North Island, filled with garden groups who know the calibre of the annual Barfoot & Thompson Great Greenhithe Garden Tour.
This year the excitement been taken up a notch, with the first 500 attendees on the day receiving a goodie bag, thanks to kind sponsors such as Dateline, Wild Appetite, the Millenium, Recreational Services (all of which are North Shore businesses), Egmont Seeds and Tui Garden Products.
All money raised from the Tour will go towards purchasing new equipment for the kindy children and giving the teaching staff access to the latest educational tools.
"There's absolutely no doubt that you will have a truly awesome day not only exploring the spectacular gardens themselves, but the incredible vibe it brings to Greenhithe with garden talks, stalls, food, raffles and more," says event co-ordinator, Andrea Molloy.
"We are incredibly grateful to the wonderful garden owners for opening their gates. The tour has been such an important part of our village life for 21 years. It’s the only fundraiser for Greenhithe Kindergarten – not only do you get to wander through inspirational gardens, but you help our kindy at the same time," she explains.
"As for the gardens themselves, prepare to be awestruck. There’s everything from native gardens to subtropical gardens to pretty-as-a-picture cottage gardens. Every garden is truly unique, reflecting the owner's taste and many have gorgeous garden art and creative surprises,” says Andrea.
The Barfoot & Thompson Great Greenhithe Garden Tour is on Sunday, November 16, 10am-4pm. Earlybird tickets are $15; on the day purchases, $25. Kids are free! You can buy tickets from Kings St Luke's, Kings Remuera, Kings Forrest Hill, Kings Takapuna, Kings Silverdale, Mitre 10 Glenfield and Greenhithe Dairy or online from Eventfinder: www.eventfinder.co.nz. For more information, see www.greenhithegardentour.org.
‘Like’ our Facebook page to keep updated on the tour and to enter some of the fabulous gardening goodies we have to give away from Greenhithe business, Feature NZ: www.facebook.com/greenhithe.tour
Channel Magazine: Issuu 49 November 2014