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Published: 2008-12-01 00:00:00

More than 40 people from Hamilton, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Taupo and Thames-Coromandel took part in training sessions for landscapers, garden centre staff and council employees on November 27, ahead of the Smart Water Use campaign launch.

The course, held at the Hamilton Gardens, was for those who will be helping to spread Smart Water Use messages.  It covered how to conserve water in the garden by choosing the right plants and using mulch, irrigation systems and smart garden design.

One attendee, Lyn Pickering from Palmers Garden Centre in Hamilton, said her customers were more interested in making smart plant choices after last summer’s drought.

“At this time of year they’re uncertain about planting and whether their plants will survive,” she said.

“We’re really pushing that mulch message.  We’re getting feedback from customers that people who mulched had gardens that survived the drought, and people who didn’t had problems.”

Taupo District Council environmental educator Sarah Painter, who also attended, agreed last summer’s drought had raised awareness of water conservation issues.

“I think in Taupo, with the drought and the lake actually getting quite low, people are probably realising it’s not this endless resource everyone thought it was.”