Sunday ramble (by me)

Had a great time out and about yesterday in our beautiful spring-summer weather – called in to the Bromeliad Display and Sale, went round several of the gardens in Katikati Rotary’s Ramble and made my final stop at the Rose Society Display at Palmer’s in Bethlehem (which is on again today).

Despite (or because of) the heavy rain at the end of the week, the gardens were looking great – roses, irises, poppies, azaleas, lost of self-seeding annuals … flowers everywhere.

I also dropped in at the Amazing Iris Garden and owner Wendy Begbie confirmed what I’d been thinking – the mild winter and warm start to spring has brought things on early. She says her tall bearded irises are generally just starting at Labour Weekend, but this year were flowering well and she may not open on November 30-December 1 so keep an eye on that.

Decided not to visit every garden on the ramble – 13 in total and spread from Lockington Rd south of Katikati to Athenree north of the town, but did seven (and had seen an eighth just recently). Two of the seven were a bit weedier than they should have been and four were probably a bit much the same in terms of their plantings but it was a pleasant day out (and despite the complaints of one woman at a garden, the signposting was great).

I’m always impressed that anyone wants to open their garden to the public so congratulations and thanks to all those who did so (it’s on again today).

The BOP Bromeliad Group displays are always well worth seeing if you’re at all interested in these plants (which include the “air plants” or tillandsias), how to use them and how to grow them – next show is in late February when the plants are at their peak. Great to see people walking out with bags of plants.

The BOP Rose Society’s display comprises several tables of cut flowers in small vases – and a rose order form. The society hasn’t had a judged show for a couple of years now, the advancing age of members making it a more difficult proposition as well as the deaths, in quick succession, of the president and secretary.

The display is a nice compromise, letting people see all sorts of roses, from heritage varities to Carpet Roses, that wouldn’t be in a show anyway. There were certainly plenty of people looking at the potted roses for sale. I think Palmer’s has done a clever job of arranging these roses for shoppers by putting them in colour groups.

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