This & that

Sorry to report that gardener and sculptor Terry Parker has passed away recently. In 2012 I visited the garden he and wife Margaret had created from an unpromising site of gorse and “other rubbish” and which they had named “Pig’s Ear Park”.

Terry Parker with his stone carving of St Fiacre, patron saint of gardeners.

They were opening their 2ha country garden for the biennial Tauranga Garden and Artfest in 2012, the last time they were doing so as Margaret was facing a period of treatment for ill health and Terry was just going through the diagnosis process.

He good-humouredly described himself then as  “the donkey” when it came to the garden. “Put it in, take it out … that’s a tree.”

Terry, a former member of the Royal Navy in Britain, took up sculpting in the 1970s and eventually worked in stone, wood and recycled materials. One of his pieces in the garden was of St Fiacre, the Irish saint who lived in France, and is patron saint of gardeners (and cab drivers in Paris).

When I was in Palmerston North around New Year I dropped in at the national Rose Trial grounds to catch up with the winners of the most recent awards, given out in November as part of the regional conference of the World Federation of Rose Societies (the roses generally aren’t named at this stage).

Gold Star of the South Pacific (rose of the year): A red rose bred by David Kenny of Ireland. Mr Kenny is an amateur breeder.

Certificates of Merit: Rob Somerfield of Te Puna won two for two different roses.

One of the unnamed Somerfield roses that won a Certificate of Merit.

Nola Simpson Novelty Award (the first time the award has been given): Chris Warner of England for Bright as a Button, a pink floribunda with a darker centre.

The major results from the national rose show, held at the convention:

Champion of champions decorative miniature: Glowing Amber shown by Derrol and Helen White (Whangarei). Champion of champions large rose: Reflections shown by Janice Walker. The rose was bred by the late Nola Simpson of Palmerston North.

The Groups listing has been updated to reflect the fact that Tauranga has lost its branch of the Cactus and Succulent Society. The group decided to close at the end of last year, demoralised by not being able to attract new, younger members.

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