Spring into Whanganui is the brainchild of gardener and nursery owner Frances Taylor of Papaiti. It is one of 23 event ideas submitted for the inaugural Den of Dragons event in Whanganui on Wednesday next week.
Just six finalists will present their bright idea for a new event to be held in Whanganui in 2017.
The Spring into Whanganui weekend event is about visiting special gardens in and around Whanganui. The concept focuses on locals and visitors seeing Whanganui in springtime, when deciduous trees are in full bloom and the bulbs are flowering.
"Whanganui's diverse collection includes heritage, cottage, themed, water, bush, permaculture, organic, native bush and zany gardens which feature driftwood and/or objets trouvés," says Frances. "If we win, we will be looking for all sorts of gardens, including school gardens.
"Spin-offs for local businesses, artists and educators could include garden art and crafts such as mobiles; mosaics; large pottery, steel or wooden ornaments; locally grown plants and produce; food and drinks; garden furniture and water features. Sessions on worm farming and composting could be run.
"There may also be an opportunity for charities and groups to have their own fundraising event at a particular garden."
Frances roped in her friend Margi Keys to help with the application. Being relatively new to Whanganui, Margi is keen to make this event happen.
"Anyone who enjoys seeing spring in all its glory will love this event," says Margi. "For example, gardening enthusiasts, landscapers, craftspeople, photographers, alternative lifestylers, older people, families who garden together, and people who have no experience of starting a garden.
"We want people from all over New Zealand to come to Whanganui."
Both women are thrilled to be in the running for the big prize and are hoping there will be a big turnout on the night.
"We are really excited to be finalists, and optimistic about how our presentation will be received by the Whanganui community," says Frances. "We feel well supported by the organisers and grateful for the opportunity to tell everyone in New Zealand about our idea."
Whanganui's Den of Dragons is a partnership between Whanganui & Partners and eight local businesses.