Hospice Whanganui is renowned for its beautiful grounds and gardens, but there is one part of the property where water is a problem. In winter it sits and pools, and while it attracts water-loving birds, it makes caring for that particular area difficult.
Sandy McDougal, Hospice Whanganui operations manager, says money has come available through Horizons to enable planting of native species to encourage wildlife and native birds.

"At the moment you can't mow it and you can't walk out here," she says. "So we put a proposal to Horizons and applied for the grant."
The $2000 is to be spent on plants suitable for the location.

"The central tree will be a pohutukawa with pittosporum type plants in bunches on each side, giant flaxes along the back and softer, smaller flaxes and hebes [in front]. They don't mind their feet being wet and they can tolerate being dry in summer. We're hoping that when it gets established it will absorb a lot of the water.
"Pitzac has kindly donated eight tonne of mulch which we will have to wheelbarrow in."
Pohutukawa and kowhai will also be planted on a nearby bank.

The planting will deal with the water and also bring people together to recognise Hospice volunteers.
Sandy knows they can always call on Hospice volunteers but on this occasion they would like people from the community to come forward and help to establish a garden which will be in honour of the many people who regularly volunteer for Hospice Whanganui.
"We're asking people to come up and plant a garden that recognises past, present and future volunteers. We've got 580 plants."

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Hospice is looking for 35 to 40 people to help out on Wednesday, September 19, from 1.30pm-4.30pm. Please bring spades and gardening gloves.
For more details contact Hospice Whanganui on 349 0080.