Sunday digest

Mount Maunganui’s harbourfront Norfolk pines are suffering, possibly from a phytophthora, but the cure looks pretty painful, that is, if bark = skin! See a photo and read more here. Added to the “site disturbances” mentioned at the end of the story would be the swanky new boardwalk that’s gone in around the base of the some of the trees.

I’ve always lived in places where people mow their own berms so the whining from central Auckland hasn’t been very impressive and I suspect a lot of New Zealanders have been shaking their heads at the fuss. Some newspaper letter writers, columnists and talking heads on TV have suggested planting the grass verges in food crops. Abbie Jury has some sensible things to say, as always.

Abbie and husband Mark, a renowned plant breeder, have taken the sad step of deciding to close their Tikorangi garden to the public until further notice, feeling the intrusion of the petrochemical industry in their area is just too great.

The lecture programme of the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) Regional Convention – being held Palmerston North next month – is a good chance to hear international and New Zealand rosarians talk about what they love.

The programme, being organised by Hayden Foulds, comprises (click here for photos and short biographies):

  • WFRS president Steve Jones of the US who will speak on the history of American rose breeding
  • American Rose Society president Jolene Adams on the movement of roses between hemispheres
  • Irish rose breeder David Kenny on amateur rose breeding in the UK and Europe
  • Thomas Proll, from the famous Kordes rose company in Germany, on work to breed disease-resistant roses
  • Kelvin Trimper from Adelaide on maintaining the popularity of the rose
  • Anthony Tesselaar, the man behind the very successful Flower Carpet roses
  • John Ford, the nephew of noted Palmerston North rosarian and breeder Nola Simpson,on her life and work
  • Doug Grant, New Zealand Rose Society vice-president, on the roses of Dr Sam McGredy
  • Heritage rose enthusiast Fiona Hyland of Dunedin will speak on conserving old roses in New Zealand
  • Otaki rosarian and author Ann Chapman will speak about significant rose breeders and rosarians from New Zealand
  • Wanganui rose grower Bob Matthews
  • Panel discussion on “Where Roses are Heading” featuring Rob Somerfield (NZ), Matthias Meilland (France), Richard Walsh (Australia) and Murray Radka (NZ).

Tickets for the lecture programme are on sale until November 18. They are $30 each, including morning and afternoon teas. No door sales will be available. Purchase tickets here. The event will be held at the Palmerston North Convention Centre, Main St West on Monday, November 25, from 8.30am-5pm, and on Tuesday, November 26, from 8.30am to 12.15pm.

Someone else who dislikes variegated plants (yes, like me!) is Dr Tim Entwisle, director and chief executive of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Ellerslie International Flower Show is moving forward on the calendar, a little – next year’s show will be from February 26 to March 2, a fortnight earlier than usual.

“Even though we’re moving the event less than a fortnight, we’re on the cusp of the seasons and the difference is quite dramatic. It will give designers a wider range of flowers to choose from, while the new date also boosts the already high chance of Christchurch turning on dry, sunny weather,” says Richard Stokes, Christchurch City Council’s marketing and events unit manager.

There will be 16 exhibition gardens – the most in the show’s 21-year history – of a minimum 100 square metres, compared with seven show gardens this year.

Jenny Gillies, an internationally renowned costume and fabric artist, will stage a new “Naughty by Nature” show featuring sumptuous floral artwear.

Tickets go on sale next month.

The Gardening World Cup in Nagasaki, Japan is on again and Kiwi designer Xanthe White has returned to try and emulate her success from last year – Best Design Award and a Gold Medal. Good luck!

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