One enchanted evening

A section of the crowd at the Art Gallery. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Lynda Hallinan enchanted an enthusiastic crowd at Growing Pains in the Tauranga Art Gallery last night – making them laugh with her musings on the best garden tool (a handyman-type husband) and sending several people to their notebooks and phones as she recommended plants and gardening solutions, including:

  • Orlaya grandiflora, the type of plant she says, that people only grow if it’s recommended to them. “You wouldn’t buy it if you saw it in the garden centre, but the bees and the hoverflies love it.”
  • Use aspirin for tomato blight (no, don’t take it, apply it to the plants). Read more here.
  • Only use fresh horse manure if you are completely sure you know what the horse has eaten – for instance, if the animal has recently been given de-worming tablets, the manure will kill earthworms too. Better to compost it for a year.

Lynda Hallinan. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Lynda, who has been a garden writer for 20 years, is a bubbly personality and fun speaker and she had the audience in the palm of her hand as she recounted some of the growing pains she’s had upsizing from a suburban section to a much – much – larger country garden.

The evening was a fundraiser for the Sydenham Botanic Park project and advisory group chairman Brian Hodge opened the evening by talking about the history of the site and future plans. Thanks so much to sponsors GardenPost, Palmers Bethlehem and incredible edibles for making Growing Pains possible.

There were giveaways too, in the form of vouchers for berry plants courtesy of incredible edibles and NZ Gardener magazines, courtesy of Lynda. There were also two great raffles on offer so there were some very happy winners at the end of the evening.

Lynda brought her gardener Fiona Henderson with her and the pair had had some shopping fun in Paeroa on the way south. Not so much fun was discovering a flat tyre as they prepared to leave for home after dinner.

Help was at hand in the form of Geoff Brunsden and Keith Frentz who not only figured out where the spare was kept (under the vehicle) but managed to work out how to free it. That it required them both to roll around on the ground under the jacked-up ute and stretch their problem-solving skills to the max seems to suggest someone at Nissan got a little bored one day. Unfortunately, there are no photos of the knights in shining armour at work as both phones were busy being used as flashlights!

  • Lynda is presenting a new series of Get Growing, which first screens on Choice TV at 7.30pm on Fridays. Next week’s programme (October 24) features Geoff Brunsden talking about wildflowers. The episodes re-screen at various times.

The organisers of Growing Pains would also like to thank Tui Garden Products, Scullys Skin-care Products, Penguin Books NZ and Pak ‘n Save Tauranga for their donations to the raffle prizes.

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