Milton Fuchsia Group – National Link May 2018

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Congratulations Ashburton for such a memorable Fuchsiarama. Everything that was planned went like clockwork from the first greetings to the final farewells. On Thursday evening during the film showing fuchsias, some comments I heard were “Oh, I did have that one, but I lost it”; “I would like that one”; “I must get that one”; “Oh, that one’s different.” Does that relate to all of us at sometime on our fuchsia journey?

Friday was an all-day bus trip, so full of varying visits of interest. To mention some, the first was to view the property of Brian Glassey where “The Pecking Order” documentary was made. A poultry fancier that had so many breeds of fowl but also an extensive garden where magnificent dahlias were growing. I also noticed silver beet plants growing individually in containers. Other delights included a visit to the “Pole People” where people and animals of every description were made from posts and sold locally and for export. While we enjoyed lunch there the swans also enjoyed a lunch of crab apples.

Geraldine township, another stop, saw many of us buying Barker’s jams and pickles as well as other treasure to take on the home journey. An up-marker Bentley and Rolls Royce restoration business was another call. Cars worldwide are accepted for restoration and seven men are employed on this work. What they could do was amazing!

After an enjoyable dinner, we were back to the venue for an evening speaker.

Saturday morning was the most important part of the weekend – the 34th AGM. Business was dealt with professionally by the “top table” and members obtained an insight into the business of our association.

After lunch was a visit to the Ashburton Plains Railway Museum. All of us took the opportunity to reminisce and enjoy a ride on an old railcar, visit an historic cottage, fully furnished and with a suitable garden. A delightful small church was just settling into its new abode. We also saw traction engines, tractors and machinery and, of course, the railway station. What a delight.

Everyone entered into the spirit of “A Splash of Green” on Saturday evening It was a lot of fun and so many shades of green. With photos finished for the night, retiring to our rooms seemed a good idea.

Sunday morning concluded a perfect weekend with a garden walk and talk with the Head Gardener of Hotel Ashburton’s historic gardens. A real treat.

Members who haven’t attended one of our Fuchsiarama conferences and have not experienced the comradeship of our fuchsia family should (if possible) attend the 2019 event in Wellington.

Elspeth Robinson