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Mucking In

Sundays at 7pm | TV ONE

Episode 5: Thames


Bob and Kay's Story:

The Paki's are humble and generous people who give voluntarily of their time and skills to the Thames Coast community. Residents of Waiomu Bay for many years, the work of the Paki's spans decades and is focused on the children. Bob Paki is the much-loved Te Puru School bus driver, and Kay has been coaching and running sporting activities for years.

Bob and Kay have five children, 15 grand children and 6 great grandchildren. Their love of children and total dedication to both them and to sport have led them to work tirelessly with local tennis, badminton and netball clubs. Their long-term involvement with these clubs has meant ongoing personal sacrifices. Through these clubs they have encouraged hundreds of youngsters to improve their fitness, their sporting skills and their self-esteem. 

Ailing health has not slowed these two Mucking In recipients down, and they will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year.


Bob and Kay's Garden - A word from Mike:

This was a very hard site to design because of the steep bank at the back and there was almost no flat area around the house. Bob and Kay were completely overwhelmed by the site and it's fair to say it had gotten the better of them.

I set about turning the flattest area of the house, which faces the north, into a series of patios. This would maximize sun, give a lot more living space and make the change in levels easier to manage.

To give them more privacy I added a cedar weatherboard fence next to the first patio. This is built in the same style as the house.

I then set the focal point, a beautiful natural stonewall between the patio area and the "wild area" (the steep grass bank which I planted in a woodland style of Palms, Cabbage Trees and low growing flaxes) In time the bank will fill up and take care of itself.

Planting had to be easy and I went for a "summertime" feel with Palms and summer flowering - Hydrangea's, Plumbago, Lavender, and Brunsfelsia's. It is the Coromandel after all, very much a summertime place.

Mike Mansvelt


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