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8 EAST & BAYS COURIER, FEBRUARY 10, 2012
AUCKLAND CUP WEEK
2nd & 9th MARCH 2012
Pre booked hospitality packages are now on sale!
Contact our team today for more information
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Creative Communities Scheme
Open for Applications
If you are planning a collaborative art project in your community, we could
have funding for you.
The Creative Communities Scheme supports projects that:
* encourage young people to participate in art
* support diverse cultural traditions and contemporary cultural arts
* enable local communities to participate in arts activities
Your project could be in film, theatre, visual arts, music , digital arts, dance,
new media or another art form.
Applications close 24 February 2012.
Visit www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/funding or phone 09 301 0101 for more
information. Come to an information session for help with applying.
Gardens open for hospice
By KELSEY FLETCHER
Dragon tree: Mt Eden stained glass designer Suzanne Johnson tidies up her Dracaena Draco feature tree which adorns her front yard.
says the style
of her garden
is based on
that of the
Colourful view: The stained glass workshop where Ms Johnson and
Mr Hanly work will also be open for members of the public to take
small cacti found
and path to grow
and flower in
Pruners of all kinds will open
their garden patches to the public
during the Heroic Gardens Festi-
val this month.
The festival is now in its 16th
year and will feature more than
20 private gardens across Auck-
It was established to raise funds
for the Auckland City Mission
Herne Bay House which provided
care and respite for people with
HIV/AIDS. Herne Bay House has
since closed and the money raised
now goes to Mercy Hospice Auck-
land. This year the festival
showcases gay and lesbian-owned
gardens and for the first time gar-
dens by other hospice supporters.
Mt Eden stained glass designer
Suzanne Johnson and her partner
Ben Hanly will be among hobbyist
and competitive gardeners show-
ing off veggie plots, ponds and dis-
Ms Johnson and Mr Hanly have
entered their garden and stained
glass workshop in a number of
festivals over the years but this is
the first time they have entered
the Heroic Gardens Festival.
We made Mercy Hospice some
windows for a little chapel about
10 years ago and that s how we
got to know the people, Ms John-
We don t do any other charity
work and this is a nice thing to do
They have put more than 10
years of time and effort into the
multi-levelled garden which has
flourished under their hands.
When we first came here there
were four privet trees so it s just
amazing how fast things grow in
Auckland, Ms Johnson says. We
put in a Dracaena Draco (dragon
tree) from Madagascar with a
crane -- it s very dramatic and
Ms Johnson and Mr Hanly have
designed their French Riviera-
styled front yard around the
majestic dragon tree, taking into
account the massive umbrella
structure it has created.
The property also features a dry
garden which Ms Johnson says
has to fend for itself because the
hose doesn t reach, and a marvel-
lous vegetable patch which
provides table-ready produce.
Ms Johnson says taking part in
the festival gets her out in the
garden and keeps her up to date
The garden has to look really
good for the festival and it energ-
ises you to make it look good. It
keeps you on your toes.
Mercy Hospice Auckland chief
executive Jan Nicols says the fes-
tival has a real following of its
own built up through its 16 years
Excitingly there are a number
of new gardens this year, particu-
larly from the Coatesville area,
plus some real favourites that are
a delight to visit annually.
Garden owners will be present
on February 18 and 19 to offer an
opportunity for visitors to talk
with them. Tickets cost $35 and
can be used on both days.
gardens. org.nz to buy tickets.
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