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Mucking In

Sundays at 7pm | TV ONE

Episode 4: Papatoetoe

Jean's Story:

Jean Robinson is an old fashioned woman who strongly believes in the benefits of community spirit and for 40 years has worked towards the betterment of her own community.

Jean has been called the backbone of the Papatoetoe Neighbourhood Support Group and has been behind many community initiatives. Her commitment to helping others and her kindness towards those less fortunate is now legendary within Papatoetoe.

Jean has dedicated many hours to volunteer work, including organising Grey Light Luncheons and dances catering for senior citizens in South Auckland. She works on the committee for the Manukau Police Calendar producing calendars with the proceeds going to a trust for kids at risk in South Auckland, she's raised money for the Special Olympics, she's coached sports teams and run sports clubs.

To acknowledge her dedication in 2000 Jean was awarded the Queens Service Medial for Community services. In 2005 her community want to reward her with a garden make over.

Jeans Garden - A word from Mike:

Jean grew up in India, and has many fond memories of her time there.  So it seemed only natural to give her an eastern inspired garden.

However one of the biggest problems was half the back yard was taken up with a tired old pool.  The family use the pool all the time so the only thing to give Jean a new pool, making this project our most ambitious this season.

The site was cleared (giving us a completely blank canvas) then the pool craned in.  Concrete was poured around the pool.  I chose a sandstone colour to enhance the Indian feel.  It was then cut to give the effect of it being very large pavers.
A pergola was placed proudly at one end to provide shade for summer dining.  A water feature set in walls created a focal point at the other end.
James Hardy "Titan Board" panels were used for all boundary fences and then framed to give a classical paneled look.  The two end walls were painted Resene "Collins Wicket" for a nice desert earth look.  For the long sidewall I chose Resene aviator, an electric blue colour.  I then planted bright green fan palms (Livistona chinensis) in front of the wall to give the garden splash of 'Wow" and let the bright blue swimming pool know that it wasn't alone.

Gardenia, veitchii, Hymenosporum "Gold Nuggett" Strelitzia regine (Bird of Paradise), Clivia and Pigmy date Palms (Phoenix roebellini) all confirmed the look and will provide Jean with form, foliage and fragrance for many years to come.  And of course some gentle reminders of her Indian childhood

Mike Mansvelt