Sowing the seeds for gardening greatness

The Hunter's Garden Marlborough Stihl Garden Fete is a big day for small home-based business Garden Perennials.

Blenheim women Nicola Rodgerson started the potted seedling business 20 years ago so she could spend more time with her young children.

About 120 trays of 20 plants are potted for the show - a mix of classic favourites such as irises and dahlias, and something a little bit out of the ordinary.

"I always try to have something different because we get the same people back year after year and I like to surprise them."

Mrs Rodgerson has had a stall at the fete for the last 16 years.

Sales yesterday were about on par with last year, with about 100 trays of plants sold, she said.

As always, irises were the most popular, but she was surprised to sell out of dianthuses, a cousin of the carnation.

"I believe gardens are an extension of your personality, but a lot of people tend to follow the trends and plant what's fashionable."

The Marlborough Express