You don’t need to know a tea rose from a rhizome, to enjoy the Franklin Hospice Garden Ramble.
Created and managed by two local women as a fund raiser for Franklin Hospice (more than $200,000 raised since 2012), people flocked to the picture-perfect gardens on show. Last year, Kaye and Steph decided to take a well-earned break and step back, generously gifting their shared knowledge and resources for the Garden Ramble to Franklin Hospice.
Board member Sharon Graham had been amongst the throngs that circled the Ramble on their calendar, so when the 2020 team was being assembled, she raised her green fingers.
With her background in botany and a passion for gardening, she was a natural as Chair of the Franklin Hospice Garden Ramble. Sharon has grown the team with fellow garden lovers Jane Hewitt Smith and Dianne Smith who between them are taking care of sponsorship, market days, and gardens. Fifteen private gardens are being groomed, primed, and planted ready for opening on November 14-15. One of the oldest churches in the country, and horticultural icon Jack Hobb’s garden in Mauku round out the collection.
“We’ve got such a rich mix, from woodlands, to formal gardens, sub tropical to native, all within a few kilometres of one another” says Sharon. There’s even one with a putting green.
The Christmas market will run across both days, with Devonshire teas, Christmas goodies, home-made jams and relishes, garden sculpture, furniture, plants and seedlings, and fresh produce.
Given the horrible impact of COVID-19, Franklin Hospice are delighted that local branches of Barfoot and Thompson (Pukekohe, Waiuku and Papakura) have continued their long sponsorship of the event. Also a number of other businesses have also added their support including the Karaka-based Paddock to Pantry. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite or via a number of retail outlets including a garden center in Remuera.
“Visitors come from far and wide. One of the earliest groups to book their tickets this year live in South Waikato. Others are well over in the North Shore”, said Malcolm Sproull, Franklin Hospice Fundraising and Marketing manager.
“Given what we have all been through so far this year, we get a sense that this event will be well attended. Visitors can mingle in the outdoors, but at a safe distance if needs be”.
The Garden Ramble Team have a COVID contingency plan should a level 3 alert be issued again. This will provide a ticket refund option or for the ticket value to be carried over to the rescheduled event in 2021.
“We asked all garden owners if they remained happy to continue given the uncertainties of COVID. Not one of them wanted to back out and all are firing ahead preparing their gardens to delight all visitors. We can’t thank them enough.”
Franklin Hospice Garden Ramble | 14–15 November 2020
Tickets available now! Visit www.eventbrite.co.nz.