The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 10 (February 1, 1930)
Station Gardens in Canterbury — Results of Competition for 1929 — Wins for Rakaia and Dunsandel
Station Gardens in Canterbury
Results of Competition for 1929
Wins for Rakaia and Dunsandel.
With a view to giving additional encouragement to staffs in the Canterbury District who have, for some years, improved the appearance of their stations by maintaining attractive gardens, and to promoting interest in beautifying activities at other stations, the Canterbury Horticultural Society has associated itself with the Railway Department in arrangements for an annual station garden competition. The Society has been presented with a valuable challenge cup trophy by Mr. L., B. Hart for competition among railway station staffs for the best kept gardens in the Canterbury District. In addition to the challenge trophy, the Society has kindly offered to donate a number of prizes for gardens showing special merit.
The Society has also kindly offered to give stations any information which will assist in establishing and stocking a garden and will also supply each station entering for the competition a free copy of its monthly magazine “The City Beautiful.” This publication contains a great deal of information useful to those interested in the cultivation of flower gardens.
The conditions are as follows:—
1. To gardens established prior to 31st March, 1929, challenge cup to be held by the successful station for one year; also a miniature replica of the cup to be held permanently by the successful station.
2. For gardens established since 31st March, 1929. Cash prizes.
Judging will be done by members of the Society about the end of January each year, points to be awarded under the following headings:—General arrangement and effect; order and neatness; succession of blooms; special features; colour, etc.
During the closing months of the 1929 season, the competition aroused keen interest among members of the staff at a number of stations throughout the Canterbury district, resulting in many beautiful displays at the various competing stations. Stations which, hitherto, presented a rather drab appearance were attractively laid out in neat garden plots with lawns, rose beds, and rambler roses, flowering shrubs, beds of annuals, rockeries and other garden features which completely transformed the station environs into a blaze of colour and wealth of perfume. As seen from passing trains, these station gardens are most pleasing to the eye and add greatly to the pleasure of train travel. The recent displays in Canterbury elicited much favourable comment from members of the travelling public and from public bodies and individuals whose business brings them into contact with the stations concerned.
The judging of district railway station gardens in the initial year of the competition for page 45 the challenge trophy was completed a few weeks ago, the results being as set out below:
The competing stations were in two divisions:—A, those with gardens established prior to March, 1929, and B, those gardens commenced since that date. In each case the maximum number of marks was 100. In the A division, Rakaia station (stationmaster Mr. D. Finlay), 73 points, was placed first, and Heath-cote (Mr. E. Davidson), 70 points, second.
In the B division, Dunsandel (Mr. W. A. Breach), 61 points, secured first award, and Belfast (Mr. H. E. Pittaway) 56 points, second place. The garden at Ladbrooks, a small station in charge of a tablet porter, was highly commended.
The judges were Messrs. H. L. Darton, W. J. Humm, and J. Gilpin, together with the acting-District Railway Traffic Manager, Mr. B. R. Sword. There were four competitors in the A, and three in the B division.
Mr. Darton said that the judges had been highly pleased with the evidence they saw of fruitful efforts to beautify the stations of the district. Points had been given for order and neatness, the successful rotation of flowers in season, and special features. All competitors scored highly for order and neatness.
At Rakaia the weeping elms on the platform and the nikau palms formed an attractive basis of ornamentation. Dunsandel made a brave showing, and the rock garden at Belfast commanded admiration. Heathcote, with its favoured climate, promised to be one of the most attractive stations in the future.
The station garden movement which is being taken up with much enthusiasm by station staffs throughout New Zealand is a commendable one and is destined to achieve far-reaching results in the general betterment of our railways.