Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1914. THE GARDEN HABIT.
J^o stranger can visit Ashburton without being* impressed by the large number of attractive gardens that flank the residential j streets of the borough. * Many, jOther towns in the Dominion have 'the' garden habit .developed to a very gratifying^ degree, but the proportion of gardens in Ashburton that are really well laid out and kept in tfirst-class order is greater than can be seen in any other town of a similar size. It may be that the splendid example set by the caretaker of the Domain of the possibilities of the soil and climate;in the way of artistic floriculture and prolific growth has been an incentive to the residents to go and do likewise, but another factor is that 1 amongst the population of the , town there are large numbers of people with more than a passing knowledge of the secrets of "the sweetest things that God ever made and forgot to put a soul into," as Ward Beecher once so charmingly said. It is therefore in the fitness of things' that in- a district so generously favoured by Nature there should exist a society having for its object the encouragement of the pleasant hobby of growing flowers and fruit and vegetables, and the j Ashburton Horticultural Society j fulfils this mission most capably. I Owing to the continual bad weather at the end of last year the Society had to abandon the Eose Show, for which,, elaborate arrangements liad been made' and numerous., .entries promised^ but on Thursday of this week "the i annual show of pot plants, cut ! flowers, fruit, and vegetables will be held in the Theatre Royal, .and the .prospects for this being a great success are most satisfactory. Already entries have been received from neighbouring districts, and local enthusiasts are on their mettle to see that their well-earned reputation for choice exhibits shall not be taken from them unless the rival products are extraordinarily good. By promoting these competitions the Society is doing work of real benefit to the town," for only a dolt would deny that the attractiveness of the town and the iealth of its inhabitants are enhanced- by the areas set apart for gardens, whether they are merely ornamental or.serve a utilitarian purpose. In Victoria, the Railway Department annually offers valuable money prizes for the best-kept gardens adjoining the stations, on the Department s property, and the result is that .nowhere in Australia are there more beautiful gardens than can be seen in a journey on any ol the lines in that State. An innovation of this kind is badly needed in New Zealand, for the surrbundings of most of the_ stations are anything but artistic. However, that is by the way. , The public who have not yet 1 aspired to participation in a show of the kind to be held on Thurs-j day should not miss the oppor-j trinity of seeing the exhibits, and ■if they do, an augmentation of the Society's membership is almost certain to result. There is, the Society's executive will frankly admit, much virtue in a big membership, and there is hardly a more deserving institution than this in the town.