The sustainable garden out the back of the Tairawhiti Environment Centre has been given a burst of colour by four Gisborne artists.
Artists Trish Brown, Amanda Rutherford, Breahn Stubbs and Bridget Stubbs put in more than 90 hours between them to plan, sketch and paint the mural using two ladders and some scaffolding.
They all wanted to thank David Preddey from Resene on Palmerston Road, who donated all of the paint and brushes.
“We are totally indebted to David — he is always so generous with community murals.”
The artists all attend the same church at Wainui and already knew each other, but this was the first time they had worked together.
The idea was sparked by Amanda who saw the blank, empty wall space in the garden at the Tairawhiti Environment Centre on Palmerston Road and thought mural would look great on the wall.
“We are all interested in the natural world and wanted to brighten up the space,” she said.
The mural was carefully planned. It shows all of the creatures children might find in their own backyards, including those who live underground.
The focus is on native and endemic creatures of New Zealand.
Trish said it was a chance for them to awhi (support) the Tairawhiti Environment Centre, “and we are all greenies as well”.
“It was also a lot of fun,” said Bridget, who said the team were spoilt rotten with morning teas to keep them going.
“We've been honoured.”
It is a bit of a secret garden because not many people know about it — however, it is open to the public during opening hours.
Thursdays are a hive of activity at the centre, with garden coordinator Katie Foxley working alongside anyone keen to volunteer.
“People don't even know this garden is here and everyone is welcome,” said Tairawhiti Environment Centre hub support coordinator Stephanie Temple.
Workshops for children are held in the garden, which was designed with an explore and touch garden in mind, with signs for “Bee Crossings” and edibles and flowers for everyone to enjoy.
“Come and sit and eat snow peas if you need time out.
“This is a garden that had been built with hardly any budget — pretty much everything has been done by volunteers,” said Ms Temple, who feels humbled to be able to work amid such a passionate crowd of people.
“Our visitors, people like David, our garden volunteers and muralists are the ones adding real colour to this space. TEC is for the people.”
■ Tairawhiti Environment Centre, 386 Palmerston Road. Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 3pm, and Sat 11am-1pm.