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Awards open to smart gardeners

13 August 2004

Awards open to smart gardeners

If you make your compost, water your plants with rainwater or use mulch then you may be in the running for a Smart Gardening award.

The Smart Gardening awards are an initiative by councils in the Auckland region to recognise gardeners who follow the principles of "low-waste" gardening. They form part of the Create your own Eden campaign that aims to reduce the garden rubbish and food scraps going to landfill.

Ruud Kleinpaste, TV's bugman and one of the award judges, says any gardener who uses low-waste gardening methods can enter, as can schools and community gardens.

“It doesn’t matter if they are just starting out or have an established garden, so long as they can provide details of what they are doing and provide photos, we would love to hear from them,” says Mr Kleinpaste.

“A low-waste garden is better for the environment. Gardeners can reduce the amount of garden waste that goes to landfill and also the time needed to water, weed and maintain the garden.”

Organic material is great for gardens, but not when it's thrown out in the rubbish. As it rots down in the landfill, it produces the potent greenhouse gas methane and liquid known as leachate which can pollute our water and costs money to treat.

Entries close on Friday 8 October 2004. The judging panel will then visit the finalists’ gardens and the awards will be presented at the Ellerslie Flower Show in November.

There are some great prizes up for grabs including a Masport mulcher mower, a Gloria chipper/shredder, a Valex electric hedge trimmer, garden decorations, magazine subscriptions and a mini glass house.

Auckland, North Shore and Manukau City Councils thank major sponsors Masport and Chainsaw and Outdoor Power Ltd, and also Copper Workx, Yates and New Zealand Gardener.

2004 marks the competition’s fourth year. The gold award winner in 2003 was Louise and Danny de Varga, whose smart gardening techniques included: composting and worm farming replacing lawn with native plant communities collecting and reusing rainwater using recycled landscaping material, like railway sleepers using mulch and planting low-maintenance native plants

Silver awards went to: Helen Crompton, Waiheke Island Jacqueline and Roderick Sach, Birkdale Barbara Scrivens, Browns Bay Jeanette Shaw, St Heliers Verran Primary School, Birkenhead Devonport Gardens Kingsland Community Orchard

Entry forms are available at outlets including libraries and garden centres. Alternatively, visit www.manukau.govt.nz/awards.htm or telephone the Manukau Council Call Centre on 262 5104.


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