Flower fanatics from across New Zealand travelled to Hawke's Bay over the weekend to witness the wonders on display at the annual North Island National Dahlia Show.

Hosted by Hawke's Bay Dahlia Circle, the two-day event at the Napier Tech Club Rooms celebrated the achievements of the North Island's dahlia growers.

Growers also had the chance to catch up with one another with social events throughout the weekend.

President John McCutcheon said it had been a fantastic weekend, and the turnout was better than expected as weather across the country had lain waste to many growers' dahlias.


Members of the Hawke's Bay charter spent a lot of time organising the event, which they last hosted in 2012. A few members of the Hawke's Bay charter won awards, including Mr McCutcheon and newcomer Diana Wong.

Fellow member Loretta Neilson won four awards at the show, which she had been attending for the past 55 years. As well as her love for growing dahlias, she said the people were what made the show fantastic.

"It's always a tremendous weekend," she said. "They're people who we've only met once a year for decades, so we're all very good friends."

Ms Neilson began growing dahlias in 1963, and produces all varieties.

"Overseas they tend to specialise, but [in New Zealand] we like them all, and we grow them all, from golf ball size to ones bigger than your head."

While the Taradale woman said some of the work was hard, growing dahlias was "an addiction" which she's had since 1963. "I saw a shop window full of them and I thought they were pretty, so I ordered six.

"I had a pushy neighbour who said I had to show them [at a competition] and I got two first places, so I was hooked."