Thanks to all the society volunteers who helped staff our tent display at The Hub during the Tauranga Garden and Artfest (November 17-20). Friday and Saturday were particularly busy days with good sales of plants and fertiliser, lots of inquiries and plenty of growing advice sheets handed out.
Perhaps one of the most beneficial things about the stand was being able to spread the word about our annual show, as well as February’s plant auction – especially as we seemed to be talking to a lot of newcomers to Tauranga and the Western Bay.
Stars of the show in terms of our small orchid display were definitely Cymbidium Cricket, the former national champ owned by Barry Curtis, and Conrad Coenen’s Dendrobium farmeri. “Is that an orchid?,” was a common comment from people intrigued by the latter. And both plants got plenty of “is it real?”. Marvellous advertisements for why people get bitten by the orchid bug.
We are grateful to Garden and Artfest organisers for offering the society a free place to promote ourselves. Although Thursday was a bit iffy, weather for the rest of the event was pretty good and with events scheduled at The Hub there was a steady stream of people coming through. Unfortunately, the soaked ground in and around The Hub never dried out much but on Thursday morning festival director John Beech, Roger Allen (doing time with the Bromeliad Group display in the same tent as our stand) and a couple of others laid weed mat across the front of the tent and piled wood chip on top. It worked a treat as a stable walkway for visitors.
Stopping the ground between the path and our groundsheet being churned up by foot traffic was solved by Brian Simmonds who dug out of his shed an old rug, “one of Alec’s treasures”, and laid it between the two covered areas. Problem solved. (Alec was busy showing his artistic wares in a Brookfield garden.)