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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 1, 1935.)

Railway Station Gardens. — Annual Competitions

Railway Station Gardens.
Annual Competitions.

The annual competition for the best kept garden in the Otago railway district attracted keen competition this year and the members of the Gardening Circle of the Otago Women's Club— Mesdames H. J. Guthrie and A. Lee Smith, and Miss Martin—who acted as judges, could not separate the two leading stations, with the result that they placed Fairlie and Allanton first equal. Wingatui and Burnside were placed second equal.

Lady Ferguson, president of the Otago Women's Club, together with the judges, travelled to Fairlie for the purpose of presenting the cup for first place. Lady Ferguson handed over a miniature of the trophy to the stationmaster, at the same time congratulating him on the fine display that had been made.

Mr. H. Gibson, District Traffic Manager, thanked the members of the Women's Club for coming to make the presentation and congratulated the Gardening Circle on the interest it had shown in the competition.

Lady Ferguson and the judges went to Allanton some days later, where a function of a similar nature took place. Miss Allen was also a member of the party. Mr. Gibson and Mr. P. A. Morey (District Engineer) thanked Lady Ferguson for making the presentation and congratulated the Gardening Circle on the keen interest they were showing in this work.

Fairlie and Allanton will hold the cup for six months each, besides receiving a miniature.

At Wingatui and Burnside the second place trophies were presented to the stationmasters, Mr. Bulman (Wingatui), and Mr. J. Duncan (Burnside).

Some notable displays were also made at a number of stations in the Canterbury district this year, the annual competition in connection with these gardens being carried out under the combined auspices of the Canterbury Horticultural Society and the Railway Department. The judges were exceedingly pleased with the work accomplished during the year by the officers in charge, as the maintenance of an exposed railway station garden in a satisfactory manner during a trying season must have required a vast amount of care and attention. Still further advance next year is promised by the interest taken in the movement by the stationmasters and their willingness to take advantage of any suggestions for improvement made to them by the judges.

Every square inch that could be utilised for garden operations was brought into the plan of the winning class A garden at Rakaia, which, notwithstanding its exposed position and the difficulty of providing shelter from the prevailing winds, maintained a remarkable display throughout the year. Heathcote, second in this class, had a garden of perfect design. The station gardens at Little River, Dunsandel and Papanui also were kept up to their reputations, and each had some special merit. Much good work was done by the officer in charge at Dunsandel, where the conditions experienced made gardening anything but a sinecure.

“The gardens inspected were so well maintained that one could hardly realise that the season had been so trying from a horticultural point of view,” is a comment made on the B class gardens. The competitions were organised by the District Traffic Manager, Mr. E. S. Brittenden.