Recent lengthy doses of spring sunshine and some lively spots of rain in between have created exactly the conditions Julie Russell of Hastings was hoping for.

"The flowers have all come out - it's looking wonderful," she said of her and husband Mike's Round Pond Garden in Longlands as they worked to make everything perfect for the start of the five-day Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition which gets under way on November 9.

It is one of three crowd-drawing events over that time which will benefit Cranford Hospice.

Also set to spark into valuable fundraising action is the annual Hospice Holly Trail and the Hawke's Bay Wine Auction.


The Wildflower Sculpture Exhibition is staged every two years and this year's will feature the artworks of about 75 artists from all over the country - set within the picturesque gardens of Round Pond off Rosser Rd.

Floral art will sit alongside sculptures in metal, glass and ceramics, which visitors can both admire and buy.

"It is for everyone and it is the whole spectrum - it is going to be great and yes, the flowers have all come out now so it will be nice to enjoy the sun and the sculptures," Mrs Russell said.

Her philosophy was a simple one, and effectively echoed by the other event co-ordinators. "Let's raise some money for Cranford."

The last four Wildflower Sculpture Exhibitions had raised about $150,000.

The Hospice Holly Trail has been a $1.3 million contributor to Cranford since it was first staged 16 years ago.

Co-ordinator KK Marffy said while this year's event, which will feature tours of remarkable Christmas themed homes and gardens across the region, had been a 2500 ticket sell-out. The second part of the event was open to the public and all were welcome.

It is a special fete being staged at picturesque Craggy Range Winery from Thursday, November 10 daily through to Saturday - opening at 9.30am each day.

"Lunch and refreshments are available at the fete and we will have 35 craft stalls there," Ms Marffy said.

Also part of the trail events will be a combined Havelock North schools choirs concert titled Carols for Cranford.

The hour-long concert will take place at 6pm on Thursday at the Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College.

It will be the 17th Hospice Holly Trail which was started up by a group of philanthropic women who wanted to provide financial support for the hospice and had drawn ticket buyers from all over the country - with some people arriving from Australia to check it out.

The event had grown markedly through the years, as had the Hawke's Bay Wine Auction which demand for tickets this year meant increasing the capacity of the Hawke's Bay Opera House venue out to 600.

The Saturday night auction, as well as pre-tastings and a workshop session, are sold out.

It will be the 25th auction in a series sparked by Cranford Hospice patron and wine industry notable John Buck and which has so far raised $2.5m for the hospice through the years.

The unique line-up of wine lots would be complemented by an equally unique piece of artwork specially created for the event by Gavin Chilcott.

Napier's Glisten Jewellery has also designed and donated a unique 18 ct gold, platinum and diamond pendant for auction.

The pendant is offered as part of a lot themed "All Things Beautiful." and included is 3 Dozen of Tony Bish Wines Golden Egg Chardonnay 2015, and a framed photographic image, donated by Richard Brimer Photography.

Inspired by the label on the Golden Egg Chardonnay which reflects the making of this unique wine in an egg shaped concrete fermentor, Glisten Jewellery has stylised it and created a three dimensional egg pendant, seeking inspiration from the iconic Faberge masterpieces.

The pendant is of an important scale at 4 ½ cm in length. It contains an ounce of precious metals, incorporating 18ct yellow/white gold and Platinum, and is set with 3.00ct total of fine quality diamonds.

It is designed and manufactured by Gerard Smith and his team at Glisten Jewellery.

At this stage, for the outdoor events, the long-range Weatherwatch forecast for Wednesday and Thursday is fine and warm, with warm temperatures continuing into Friday and Saturday but with a chance of rain.