Wind damage has battered their gardens, but it hasn't broken the spirit of five passionate Dannevirke gardeners.
The five, all members of the local town and country garden club, are busy removing bruised flower heads, clearing damaged branches and replanting empty spots as they ready their gardens for the inquisitive eye of visitors on Saturday.
"A garden is a wonderful place," Lynne Mitchell of Umutaoroa Rd said. "You can lose yourself in your garden and feel like you've achieved something. Yes, it can be heartbreaking when the wind wreaks havoc, but you just get on with it. I've had to replant three bare areas after the storm, but I hope my garden will inspire others."
Mrs Mitchell will open her country garden on Saturday as part of a rural garden tour of five of the best around Dannevirke.
Also open will be Linda Barnett's Maharahara Rd oasis, the artistic Umutaoroa Rd garden of Maureen Reynolds, Carol Ellis' wonderful Adelaide Rd garden and Ann Massie's Otanga Rd garden, described as one of the best around.
"I've had people ask if they could view our garden, so I thought it would be a good idea for a group of us to get together and share what we've created with others," Mrs Mitchell said.
"Gardening is a passion and one of the most wonderful hobbies. It gives you the chance to be creative and artistic and gardens give you so much enjoyment every day."
Mrs Mitchell said all the country gardens had their own particular features.
Stunning rhododendrons feature in Carol Ellis' immaculate garden on Adelaide Rd.
"There were just some macrocarpas here when we arrived 28 years ago," Mrs Ellis said. "My husband, John, and I have planted it all, but there's been no plan."
Plants in the garden evoke memories of people, such as the two Penelope climbing roses in memory of John's mother and the daisies in front of the house which came from Carol's mother's garden.
"Gardens are for memories of things and people and to remember the places we've been," Mrs Ellis said. "We've some Queen Anne's Lace and, when it flowers, it reminds us of our European holiday.
"Gardening is therapeutic and I enjoy working in the garden because I see the results of my labour. However, it's been a bit frustrating with all the wind, but you tidy up and carry on. After all, it wouldn't do for it to be too perfect."
While Mrs Ellis' loves her rhododendrons and hostas, her husband's love are the natives, including two kauri trees.
"Nature is the most wonderful thing," Mrs Ellis said. "My mother was a keen gardener and she'd loved this place, so I hope visitors do too."
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