Daffy about spring bulbs
Hundreds of people are expected to pour into the district for this month's national daffodil show.
Central Daffodil Society chairman John Hollever, who grows at Ohau, said 80 to 100 exhibitors are expected from around New Zealand for the show in Waikanae, and many more spectators.
The show is the first national show hosted by the Central group, and Hollever hopes it will encourage a burst of interest in their flower.
The group's area spans Taranaki to Woodville and down to Wellington, with a key group from Horowhenua. It has a strong reputation, but with an aging membership they would like some new blood, Hollever said.
"We've got about 22 members, but would like to double that . . . to build up the club for the long term.
"We will donate substantial collections, but they need to have a little bit of land."
The club includes members who have grown, collected and bred daffodils for much of their life, and are keen to share that expertise with new members, and pass on bulbs, Hollever said.
His own collection includes 500 to 600 varieties, over more than half a hectare, he said.
Exhibitors normally have to be a member of a daffodil society, but the show includes a non-members' category.
Throughout the year members from the club have been speaking to gardening groups about growing daffodils and have handed out about 400 bulbs to encourage people to take part, Hollever said.
"We hope that these people will enter. If they enter and win then they'll get collections of bulbs, free membership of the national society and all the encouragement," he said.
Experienced exhibitors would also be on hand on the day before the show to help newcomers properly stage their flower for the competition.
Conditions this daffodil season had been almost optimal for Horowhenua and Kapiti growers, and there should be a good show of local daffodils to take on the national entrants, he said.
"If we get rain [this] week, it just couldn't be better.
"The frosts have held them up, so everybody should have lots of daffodils, and when you get the rain they just take off."
- September 13 and 14, 1pm till 4pm, Waikanae Memorial Hall, entry by gold coin donation for viewers.