Discovering more about the origins of particular plants is always fun and after mentioning Nectarine Mabel earlier this week (named for the gardener who found the seedling), I remembered coming across Nectarine Goldmine while researching a feature on spring blossoms.
An online search reveals that it was “developed” by Hayward Wright in the early 20th century. Hayward Wright, as you will doubtless know, is the man who was a pioneer in the field of commercial kiwifruit (Hayward’s variety is named for him).
There is a fairly new, and constantly developing, online resource called Papers Past, which are scanned articles from old New Zealand newspapers.
An article from The Press in 1910 states that Goldmine was a chance seedling from Nectarine Ansenne found in a garden in Parnell, Auckland. “It has proved to be one of the finest nectarines known,” the article says, “and is more largely planted than any other variety.”
From 1921, Goldmine and its named seedlings were used in the United States and Australia as breeding parents in attempts to improve the nectarine.
Read an excellent biography of Hayward Wright by Ann Chapman, “probably the greatest plantsman New Zealand horticulture has had”.