Waimate dahlia grower Phil Wild hopes to revitalise the flower show circuit, one tuber at a time.
Since Mr Wild started growing dahlias four years ago, he has won the Waimate Garden and Craft Show flower category each year.
For him, it was more about the joy of sharing flowers and “putting on a show for the public” than it is about the glory.
Mr Wild does not grow his 94 dalhia plants commercially, but does sell tubers in the hope of encouraging more people to start growing.
“Hopefully, next year we’ll get a few more entries.
“A lot of these small-time garden shows are dying out because people are growing older. It’s a shame.”
But the Waimate show was doing quite well, he said.
Last year, it had more entries than the Timaru show.
“It’s good that we’re getting the numbers.
“Anything I can do to encourage it and make it a good experience, I will.
“And if putting in quite a few flowers in helps, I enjoy doing that.”
Mr Wild and wife Lynne had grown and shown daffodils for a long while before getting the dahlia bug.
Compared with daffodils, which lasted only one or two weeks, dahlias had a long life.
“You can start growing in mid to late December and have them until April or May, and grow a lot of dahlias in a small area.”
Among dozens of roses and lilies, Mr Wild grew 40 to 50 different dahlia variations.
Before turning his attention to dahlias, Mr Wild worked as a contractor for Green Acres for 10 years.
He retired from his 20-year career working in North Canterbury councils, to do what he enjoyed working in the garden.
Growing dahlias was just a continuation of that, but instead of gardening for other people he was now retired and doing it for himself.
But even that was debatable.
“I give out quite lot of stuff.
“I put flowers out on the gate and if people want to take them they are quite welcome.
“I’m sitting here looking at lovely flowers, that’s my reward.”
The Waimate Garden and Craft show is being held tomorrow at Knox Hall in Shearman St.