ONE of the driving forces behind Lake Macquarie Garden Club and its fundraising work for the Hunter Medical Research Institute has been honoured with two awards.
Lynne Turner was recently visited by Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper who handed her a Community Service Award from the NSW Government.
The award was presented in appreciation of her work with the garden club and fundraising for HMRI.
Ms Turner also received the Ann Williams Clark Award for long and outstanding service to the garden club.
It's an award presented by the Garden Clubs of Australia Inc, and named in honour of the late Garden Clubs of Australia official Ann Clark, a gardener who embodied the organisation's motto of 'friendship through gardens'.
"As far as I'm concerned the awards are for the whole club," Ms Turner said.
Lake Macquarie Garden Club was founded 37 years ago, and Ms Turner has been involved with the club for 22 of those.
In that time she has served in many roles, including president and treasurer.
She said being part of the garden club ticked a lot of boxes.
"There's the social aspect of it, it's educational, and it helps the community," Ms Turner said.
"We have guest speakers who come to talk to us about various aspects of gardening, and we have three horticulturalists who are members."
This year will see the staging of Lake Macquarie Garden Club's third Open Garden and Arts Trail.
That's when 10 garden club members will open their yards to visitors to enjoy their gardens and local artworks over the weekend of October 12 and 13.
Visitors make a $5 donation at each garden gate, or can purchase a weekend pass to all 10 gardens for $35, and proceeds are donated to HMRI.
"We've raised $25,000 on each of the two previous years," Ms Turner said.
HMRI was chosen as the club's beneficiary because it researched every aspect of health, she said.
"Our reason for being started primarily as a social club for gardeners, and it's grown into something more community focussed."
The gardens to be featured in this year's Open Garden and Arts Trail would include several on the western side of the lake, including at Wangi Wangi, Coal Point, Toronto and Eraring, Ms Turner said.