It didn't come top in the Den of Dragons competition but the Spring into Whanganui event will still be on next year, organiser Frances Taylor says.

Spring into Whanganui was one of six events shortlisted for adding to the Whanganui calendar. They were judged in a public "Den of Dragons" event in late July.

Being up on stage that night was "intense", Ms Taylor said.

Spring into Whanganui will be a selection of open gardens and garden workshops, to take place on October 28 and 29 next year.


October in Whanganui is amazing, Ms Taylor said, with roses and fruit trees in flower.

The gardens she's looking for don't have to be "Home and Garden". They can be quirky, or functional. Workshops could include topiary - Ms Taylor's passion - making hanging baskets, fruit tree pruning or making low-cost children's play equipment.

A horticulture tutor and the owner of Q.T. Nursery, she's had the idea for the garden event for years. She told Whanganui councillor Jenny Duncan about it, and now feels she has to do it.

"I have done lots of open gardens, and I have seen how much people enjoy them," she said.

Since July her helper Margi Keys has pulled out, due to other commitments and ill health. But other helpers have been promised, Mainstreet Whanganui will help with flyers and programmes and Ms Taylor will look for sponsorship.

She's now collecting the names of people willing to show their gardens in October 2017, or willing to give workshops. She'll want to assess the gardens in October this year.

Anyone wishing to be involved can email her on or ring her on 343 8804.