On Saturday Whanganui horticulturists will be striving for perfection - or as close to it as they can.

The Wanganui Horticultural Society is holding its annual Summer Show.

Top flower grower Wayne Hughes preparations for the show are well under way as he selects his best gladiolus.

Keeping them in bottles of water and in the chiller keeps them straight and fresh.


"They'll last up to a week. Some of them only last two or three days," he said.

Mr Hughes said people would come from as far as Taranaki and Wellington for Saturday's show where gladiolus, dahlias, liliums, house plants, produce and more would be on show at Wanganui City College.

"How many come and how many flowers is anyone's guess," Mr Hughes said.

There were several categories to compete in but "it's more for prestige than prizes".

Mr Hughes has been showing flowers for 45 years and growing for longer, beginning when he was at primary school.

"All those there are all my breeding, all bred on my property," he said.

Shape, number of flowers and balance were all things to strive for.

Mr Hughes spends about four or five hours a day preparing his gladiolus in the lead-up to shows.

"We go for perfection or as close to perfection and you can.

"I haven't grown the perfect one yet and I've been doing it for 45 years," he said.

The Wanganui Horticultural Society is one of the oldest in the country. Saturday's show is open to the public.