Gardens open for fundraiser

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David and Pauline Mead will open their garden for the fundraising event.
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When the Ashburton Art Gallery turned 25 last year the gallery committee decided to raise $25,000 to buy a piece of public artwork.

They will commission a local artist to create the work when the $25,000 goal is reached.

The committee has held a few fundraising events and their main event, Gardens for Art, is on next month.

It will give people the opportunity to explore stunning local gardens not normally open to the public, listen to music, enjoy food and view demonstrations and artwork.

Committee member Denise O’Halloran said there will be three gardens to visit on the day starting at Rachael and Chris Redmond’s property formerly known as Brigadoon.

Brigadoon has a rich history as a stately home and event venue, the Redmond’s have worked on restoring the house and garden for the past 18 years.

The second garden is Lal Mulligan’s which Denise describes as a cottage garden. ‘‘It is a beautiful rambling garden with old fashioned favourites.’’

Samantha Rose will give a floral art demonstration, ceramic art will be on display and Lal’s portrait gallery will be open for viewing.

The last garden of the day will be at Pauline and David Mead’s property where Geraldine based singer Amelia Luxton will perform, afternoon tea will be served and a selection of paintings from college students art portfolios will be on sale.

The Mead’s have been on their property for 40 years and when they moved in it was all barley fields.

Pauline said they had a landscaping plan done but it has evolved over time.

She said it was important to have a nice garden. ‘‘It’s something to come home to, it’s our sanctuary.’’

David said it give him something to do, ‘‘makes me get out of bed in the morning.’’

It is a lot of work maintaining the garden and the hot summer has been a challenge this year.

‘It’s been shocking trying to keep it watered,’’ Pauline said.

The garden has rhododendrons and roses and this year they planted dahlias specially for the event.

Gardens for Art is on Sunday March 5. Tickets for the event can be purchased by contacting Denise on 027 408 2372 or at the Ashburton Art Gallery.