IN AN effort to raise funds for members of the Pearson High School concert band's tour to Reunion later this month, residents in Port Elizabeth's Summerstrand and Humewood will open their gardens to the public as part of the school's garden and art spring festival.
The Pearson Garden and Art Spring Festival takes place on Saturday from 2pm until 5pm. The group of 42 band members – who are between the ages of 13 and 18 – leave for Reunion on September 22 and return on October 6.
Tour organiser Susan Coetzer said at a cost of R50 per person, participants can visit 14 private homes and guest houses who "will open their gardens and art collections to the public, provided they are in possession of a valid Pearson Garden and Art Spring Festival ticket".
The festival tour starts at Pearson High school in Jenvey Street, Summerstrand, where a map of the area and addresses of visiting points will be supplied.
"A short description of every visiting point's garden or art will be supplied with the map in order to enable people to decide whether to visit certain addresses or all of them," Coetzer said.
A wide variety of gardens and art collections will be on display: practical gardens; gardens with big and old trees; guest house gardens – and even a small self-containing rooftop garden, like the herb garden at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) North Campus.
Rainwater is used to irrigate the garden and they produce their own compost.
The works of South African artists will also be exhibited. Paintings by Sonia Strumpfer, sculptures by Joshua Strumpfer, landscape paintings by Mia Brand and Elizabeth de Vos and paintings by Michael Spittal will be on exhibit.
"Some artists will sell some of their works," Coetzer said.
Guests are invited to enjoy a cup of tea and refreshments at the end of proceedings at Pearson High School, which is included in the ticket price.
Coetzer said the Pearson concert band is visiting Reunion as part of a cultural exchange.
"This year is allocated as 'South Africa Year' in France," Coetzer said.
"The band has been invited by Pierre Varo, conductor of Orchestre Polyphonia in Reunion.
"As part of the exchange, Orchestre Concertina, also one of Pierre Varo's orchestras, will visit South Africa, and in particular, Port Elizabeth as guests of the Pearson Concert Orchestra."
Tickets are available at R50 per person from Pearson High School concert band members or contact Denise at (041)583-5453 or 083-638-3638.