Last year 500 people enjoyed a great day out in the country garden of Sue Buchanan, soaking up the atmosphere, great food and shopping up a storm at the quality stalls.

A Day in the Garden was the brainchild of Sue and Liz Parkes of Iced and raised $2500 for the Dannevirke St John Health Shuttle.

This year the dynamic duo have organised a bigger and better event for Sunday, January 28.

The Otope home of Sue and John Buchanan and its gardens will add ambience to A Day in the Garden on Sunday, January 28. Photo / Christine McKay
The Otope home of Sue and John Buchanan and its gardens will add ambience to A Day in the Garden on Sunday, January 28. Photo / Christine McKay

"We were rapt with the turnout last year and we're expecting we could double that number this year," Sue said. "This year we'll have another 10 stalls in the garden, but we don't want it to get too big. This is about having a garden party and providing a wonderful day out."


Changes have been made with Sue and Liz learning from last year's inaugural charity fundraiser.

"All last year's stallholders were ecstatic with the patronage and we're making sure there will be plenty of food and drinks at different stalls available for visitors," Liz said.

For Sue, who has loved and nurtured the extensive country garden for 46 years, it's been something of a mission to get the garden ready for the big day this year, with snow falling in the winter and a lack of water in December.

"It's about creating a special ambience," she said.

With the range of stallholders including Foxtrot Homes with their French linen, Shabby Chic, Edible Gardens, Stephanie Buckeridge and her Scrub Collab range and a host of other varied, top quality stalls for home and garden, Liz said there will be something for everyone.

Liz will dish up delicious food from her Iced kitchen, while the Barrelhouse will fire up a gourmet barbecue. They will also offer wine tastings in conjunction with Clearview Wines, with glasses of wine and beer on sale as well. Drinks, icecream and Devonshire teas will also be available.

"We're encouraging people to take the Daneline bus because we don't want any drink-drivers," Sue said. "This is about raising money for our very valuable St John Health Shuttle and we're thrilled so many people are coming on board to support this event."

There will be music from 10am when Helen Carver and proteges will entertain, followed by Steve Wallace and his Bandy McJazz Band from 11am to 2pm and marquees will be erected so visitors can sit and enjoy a very special day in a country garden.

But there won't be a garden party next year, with Sue and Liz deciding to make it a bi-annual event.

"We'll take a breather next year because we want to keep this event special and unique," Liz said.

"There's a lot of work involved in organising something like this but it's very rewarding and a lot of fun."

A day in a country garden

* Sunday, January 28, 1248 Otope Rd, Dannevirke, 10am to 4pm.

* 30 top-quality stallholders, as well as food and beverages available for sale.

* Entry fee $5 for adults, going to Dannevirke, St John Health Shuttle.

* A Daneline bus will run between town and the garden, $5 return trip. To book, phone 06 374 8933.

* Take cash, although eftpos will be available on some stalls.

* Sue's garden plant list will be available. Purchase on the day or order.