Locals to open garden to public

DISAPPOINTMENT at the demise of Hervey Bay's annual garden competition this year has turned to determination for Gil and Wendy Gibson of Point Vernon.

“A lot of elderly people who love to view the gardens will still get to see something,” Mr Gibson said.

The couple will open their stunning garden to the public on Saturday in the hope other green fingers will join them for a combined open day in September.

Mr and Mrs Gibson usually welcome busloads of people to their home during the Bay's annual competition but this year, with sponsorships drying up and no one volunteering to step into the organiser's shoes, the competition has been cancelled.

“It's quite sad,” Mr Gibson said. “It's the elderly people who like to see the gardens who will miss out.”

Betty Winney from the Hervey Bay Garden Club said members were also disappointed the annual competition would not happen this year.

The competition's regular organiser would be overseas in September and no one was available to replace her.

“Some sponsors cut back too, which didn't leave much money at all – not enough for the prizes,” Ms Winney said.

Hervey Bay MP and former mayor Ted Sorensen agreed the cancellation was disappointing.

“The annual garden competition was the pride of Hervey Bay,” he said.

“It made the city look good with all the flowers in bloom.”

Mr and Mrs Gibson have regularly won major prizes in Maryborough and after relocating to Hervey Bay in 2003, including the Bay's Grand Champion award in 2006.

“We've had some unseasonal weather – some varieties have flowered early and some are still to come but our roses will be out in time for Saturday's open day and we'll also have spring annual flowers, flowering shrubs and many potted varieties.”

The Spring cottage garden at 6 Kelly Street, Point Vernon, will be open from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free however a gold coin donation for the Hervey Bay Garden Club would be appreciated.

Anyone who has a garden or bush house they would like to show in a combined open day in September is welcome to contact Mr Gibson on 4124 8223.



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