Making it happen - The Gardener

Last updated 17:18 14/02/2013
Chris Hillock/Fairfax NZ
PROUD: Gardener Teresa Parry loves the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival.

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Teresa Parry is a qualified gardener at Hamilton Gardens, one of the team that keeps the place in great shape. She's worked there for seven years, and she loves the February festivals.

"It's a buzzy time of the year for us. We're in festival mode. It's so exciting coming back from holidays and straight into preparation for the festival.

"We're putting Hamilton Gardens on 100 per cent display and there is a bit of pressure to get it looking its best. We cover everything: the lawns, irrigation, hedges, ponds, paths, plants.

"I'm just about to start trimming all the totara hedges in the internal sector. There is lots of dead- heading to be done in the Indian Char Bagh Garden and a lot of general maintenance.

"There is scaffolding up at the moment as we work on things. But once the festival comes, it's all gone, it's like we weren't even here, like we're the [unseen] fairies in the garden.

"During the festival fortnight, we put the gardens back to rights each morning after the evening performances.

"You can feel that people have been here - I love that. There is no damage, we just do a general tidy-up. A quick blow-vac, put them back to how they should be, ready for the daytime crowds.

"We try to attend some shows. It is great for us to see our gardens being used at night: they look wonderful when they are lit up and we don't usually see them at night.

"I love seeing Hamiltonians bringing their creative flair and talents here. It's quite a sense of pride to work for Hamilton City Council and support the festival.

"The people who run the festival are so good to deal with and there is a lot we know that we can help them with. We all want it to be the best it can be.

"I love the fact that the festival attracts people from all walks of life - they all get to enjoy the gardens. It is amazing to see areas like the Rhododendron Lawn packed with people.

"It is a really proud time, and a sad moment when it finishes."

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