Garden club marks 70 years

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Special occasion ... Cust/West Eyreton Garden Club Committee members Marilyn Rossiter, left, and Val O'Loughlin plant a Cornus "Eddies White Wonder" flowering dogwood tree in the Jack Graham Reserve at the Cust Community Centre grounds to mark the club's 70th anniversary last Saturday. PHOTOS: SHELLEY TOPP

By SHELLEY TOPP

Eyreton Garden Club members marked their 70th anniversary by planting a tree in the Jack Graham Reserve, at the Cust Community Centre grounds.

A Cornus “Eddies White Wonder” flowering dogwood tree, donated by Querky Style and Roses at Cust, was planted by two long-standing committee members, Marilyn Rossiter and Val O’Loughlin, last Saturday afternoon.

The ceremony was followed by an afternoon tea at Krakatoa, the Summerhill home and garden owned by Barry Frost, another long-standing member of the club.

The garden at Krakatoa was designed by Alfred Buxton, New Zealand’s leading garden designer during the early decades of the 20th century.

Best friends . . . Cust/West Eyreton Grden Club member Jennifer Harwood, of Cust, with “escape artist” Minni Moppett during the tree plantng ceremony.

The club’s anniversary celebrations were initially planned for May this year, but were delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown and social distancing restrictions.

The club’s first meeting was held on May 3, 1950, with the aim of developing interest in gardens, staging flower and vegetable shows, buying plants for members, helping children to become interested in gardening, and encouraging visits to private gardens.

Club secretary Rhonda Faulks told members gathered at the reserve for the tree-planting ceremony that gardening had become popular again in the Covid-19 era, with the director general of health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, urging people to exercise in their gardens during lockdown.

“It is up to the club to make the most of that resurgence,” she said. “We’re always seeking new members and they are always welcome.”