Hundreds join Altrusa ramble


English couple Terry and Judy Bonham are keen gardeners and live in Essex, just an hour's drive from the famous Chelsea Flower Show.

So going on the Altrusa Garden Ramble while staying with relations in Te Awamutu was an obvious choice.

"It was a great day out and we were surprised to be able to see inside several houses as well. At home in England only gardens are usually open for viewing.

"The owners here were all very welcoming and easy to talk to.

"We especially enjoyed wandering through the gully garden at Daphne and Peter Searle's place, it was really lovely. The Tubbs property at Ngahinapouri was a wonderful family home too."

The couple were amongst 460 people who joined the ramble this year and visited 13 properties in the Pirongia-Te Pahu-Ngahinapouri district.

Garden ramble planner Robyn Atherton says generous home owners, keen ramblers and fine weather combined to make a very successful event.

"I must give special thanks to all the property owners who worked extremely hard to present their homes and gardens to the visitors. Many of them chose to stay home and thoroughly enjoyed chatting to visitors and telling them more about their properties."

She says she always aims to have an eclectic group of homes and gardens for people to see and believes she achieved that for the 17th annual event.

"Most people this year were particularly interested to see Garth O'Brien's impressive new property on Te Tahi Road and see how he has displayed his artwork."

The home rests on a ridge overlooking farmland and native bush with sweeping views of Te Awamutu, Cambridge and the northern areas of Otorohanga.

The house is a series of simple forms, some fixed to the landscape, some floating. A lap pool (pictured) extends out from an enclosed courtyard.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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