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Fundraising For The Fight Against HIV & AIDs

MEDIA RELEASE
14 February 2005
HEROIC GARDENS 2005:

Fundraising For The Fight Against HIV & AIDs

19th and 20th February 2005 will mark the 9th annual Heroic Gardens Summer Festival. One of Auckland’s most popular summer events, the festival showcases some of Auckland’s most beautiful and creative gay and lesbian-owned gardens.

The Festival is not only an opportunity to enjoy some of Auckland’s most spectacular gardens, but also a chance to support Herne Bay House. The Auckland City Mission operates Herne Bay House to support those living with HIV & AIDS.

This is a unique project, providing respite, convalescent and palliative care, together with community support and advocacy. The Heroic Gardens Summer Festival traditionally raises around $50,000 to support the work of Herne Bay House. This is an important fundraiser as the project relies almost exclusively on donations for its survival.

The ninth annual Heroic Gardens Festival will again showcase some of Auckland’s best queer-owned gardens. But more than this, Heroic Gardens is a celebration of the people who have made the gardens. Most of the garden owners will be in their gardens for the weekend, ready and willing to talk about how and why they have been seduced by gardening.

Experience has shown that their presence; along with the buzzy garden cafes, sculpture and plant sales, and of course the gardens themselves, make an event that is more than the sum of its parts and that has been able to donate over $250,000 to Herne Bay House from the previous eight years.

This year the Festival will feature 24 gardens, from the contemporary to the traditional, the formal to the cutting-edge. This eclectic mix of form and function reflects the diversity of the City and of the gay and lesbian communities. Garden cafes and plant and sculpture sales will also enliven the weekend.

Some of the highlights planned for the Festival include:

- The opening of Blake Twigden’s aviary garden. An established garden surrounding a large wildlife pond has been enclosed within an open-topped predator-proof fence. This houses colourful varieties of pheasants and ducks and attracts wild birds. Inside this enclosure is a 324 sq. metre walk-through aviary housing exotic finches, quail and doves. Also within this aviary is a heated pond with tropical fish and water-lilies. Blake is a very successful painter of birds and fish and some of his work will be able to be seen.
- Roger Hunter’s garden in Pakuranga is pure Miami. A white-plastered cubist mansion sits behind high plastered walls towered over by groves of Queen Palms lushly under-planted with sweeps of rich greens and vibrant colours. Stylistically strong, this garden is another worth the effort of leaving the city centre.
- Over in Glendowie is another garden that can be overlooked by those concentrating on the Central City. Bruce Fraser and Glenn Crewther’s garden is a rich mix of lush subtropical planting. The property runs down to the Glendowie stream where they have created a classic grassy stream-side garden extending past several neighbouring gardens. The old pines in the paddocks of Churchill Park on the other side of the stream contribute to a rural mood in suburbia.
- The expert eye of master florist Peter Brady ensures that the dense mix of plants and sculpture in his ever changing garden never looks incoherent. Richly coloured and patterned in parts and simple and calm in others this garden reveals new rewards every time it’s visited.
- The extensive bonsai collection of master bonsai grower Bob Langholm
- A superb collection of hybrid begonias.
- There will be a prize raffle, including prizes kindly donated by Black and Decker New Zealand together with a wide range of stalls and vendors at the gardens

Ticket prices are $30 for the whole weekend; this includes entry to all the gardens involved. They are available at leading Auckland Garden centres or directly from Heroic Gardens, PO Box 3092, Auckland.
Further information is available on our website: www.heroicgardens.org.nz, and we will in contact soon to discuss the media opportunities.

ENDS

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