Still going strong at 90
A 90-year-old green thumb from Otamauri, who has run her local garden club almost single handedly for the past four decades, has been named as the Hawke’s Bay regional finalist in NZ Gardener magazine’s 2011 Gardener of the Year Awards.
The effort and enthusiasm Lenora [Linora] Buchanan puts into the Otamauri Garden Circle would put most younger gardeners to shame. Ever since she moved to Hawke’s Bay with her family 40 years ago, she has generously given her time, expertise and energy to inspire other club members.
Club members are used to her turning up to meetings with seeds to share or plants grown from cuttings taken from her sprawling garden at her home in Otamauri, west of Hastings in the Napier-Taihape Rd.
Each year she carefully hunts out new and interesting gardens for the club to visit before individually ringing each member to invite them along. Until recently, she organised a bus trip every November to a North Island garden, carefully planning it out to ensure each trip went without a hitch.
She resigned from this task a couple of years ago and is now an adviser; although her two replacements are tired already and want to pass it on, she says with a laugh.
Although failing eyesight means she is unable to drive the 25km to the meetings, fellow members happily take turns driving her.
“Lenora’s garden club wanted to nominate her in recognition of the enormous contribution she’d made over the years,” NZ Gardener editor Jo McCarroll says. “When she turned 90 last year, the garden club spread the word and over 50 past and present members turned up to celebrate.”
Lenora and the other 14 regional finalists and the finalists in the school and community garden categories are featured in the magazine’s November issue, on sale on October 31.
The winner of the 2011 Gardener of the Year, in association with Kiwicare Garden Products, will be decided by public vote.
Full instructions on how to vote are in the November issue or on the magazine’s website at nzgardener.co.nz
As a regional finalist Lenora receives a grab-bag of gardening goodies worth $750. The overall winner will be named the 2011 Gardener of the Year and receive $3000 of Mitre 10 vouchers, a year’s supply of Kiwicare Garden Products and a luxury trip for two to the 2012 Ellerslie Flower Show in Christchurch.
Photo caption – Evergreen green thumb: Lenora Buchanan, Hawke’s Bay’s finalist in the 2011 Gardener of the Year Awards.