Garden lover Mabel McAllister, 96, is looking forward to the Central Garden Club’s annual show. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Mabel’s green fingers


Mabel McAllister reckons people focus too much on their properties these days and not enough on their gardens.

The 96-year-old ex-mayoress of Kaiapoi has been a garden lover her entire life but thinks that the fostering of the next generation of green-fingered locals needs to start young.

“My mother and father both loved to garden so we were brought up to do gardening. Today they’re not getting enough, it’s all property and no garden.”

Mabel encourages families to come along to the Central Garden Club’s annual show this weekend and bring their children, saying that generally kids are not taught the basics of gardening these days.

“Children should be taught, given a little patch and be taught to garden.”

Mabel has been a keen volunteer at the Central Garden Club since she moved to Nelson after the Christchurch earthquakes.

The club will hold its annual flower show on Saturday, at the Stoke Methodist Church on Neale Ave.

The show features large arrangements from local churches and garden groups, as well as competitive displays from club members.

Mabel says the show is something not to be missed and she actively tries to attend all that she can around the region.

“I love to see everything, the displays, I think it’s marvellous.”

Until just a few weeks ago she has been fit and able to get out in her own garden, but now has had to reluctantly hand over the reigns to the resident gardener at Summerset Village.

“My family always say they’ll never garden like you, so it doesn’t matter.”