Get rambling!

As you’ll see from the Events listing, this is a busy weekend in the Bay of Plenty-Waikato area.

First up is the Pacific Rosebowl Festival in the Rogers Rose Garden (Hamilton Gardens) that runs from Thursday to Sunday (November 12-15) with the Rose of the Year announced on Sunday afternoon. Interestingly, this is one of only 2 rose trials in the southern hemisphere that is decided by public vote.

The Vege Grower and I went over last year and toured the garden in absolutely dismal weather so fingers crossed for a couple of nice days this year.

Dignity is bred by Mike Athy of Gisborne. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Mike Athy’s Blue Diamond rose was released in Britain at this year’s Hampton Court Flower Show – you can see it at the Rogers Rose Garden under its New Zealand name Hi Ho Silver.

The Rotorua Festival of Gardens runs from Friday to Sunday (November 13-15) with more than 45 gardens open. Tickets are $30 for a 3-day pass.

Make sure you include Tikitere on your list of gardens – it’s the 25-year project of Bill Robinson and his partner Ann, an extensive wonderland of maples, rhododendrons, hostas, daylilies and irises – and much more. People forget that the spring foliage of maples is just as beautiful as the autumn colours, but Tikitere will put you right. And there’s an extensive nursery too (where it’s very hard not to buy anything).

The spring foliage of maples at Tikitere. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Katikati Rotary has its biennial garden ramble – Up the Garden Path – on Saturday and Sunday (November 14 and 15), “wet or fine” as the pamphlet says ominously. A $20 weekend ticket buys you entry to 13 gardens in an area from Pahoia to Waihi Beach. Find details on the Events page.

It includes the garden of Sue Sisley, which you can read about in this 2013 post.

Visitors to the Sisley garden in 2013 inspect a bower seat. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Penny Kilmartin’s garden is another reliable stop – a rambling country garden with masses of old-fashioned roses, including Rosa chinesis viridiflora, commonly known as the ‘green rose’, although the flower isn’t actually a flower but a collection of sepals and leaves!

Rosa chinesis viridiflora in Penny Kilmartin’s garden. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Enjoy your rambling, whichever or wherever you choose to go.


3 thoughts on “Get rambling!

  1. Delighted to have found your blog! After 20 years in Melbourne I have returned home and now living in Auckland after all most of my gardening life in Christchurch and Akaroa. I am having to re think gardening up here!

    • Hello Kaye, nice to have you aboard. Yes, gardening in the humid north of the North Island does take some getting used to … but I have once again flowered my Chatham Island forget-me-nots so it’s also about finding the right spot for the right plant. The beautiful blue flowers remind me that it can be done. All the best with your endeavours, Sandra

      • Thanks Sandra, I have also just planted a Chatham Is. Forget me Not, on the south windy side of the flat I am renting! Looks ex. so far. I have the ultimate garden challenge here with a 1980’s pebble garden and weed mat under it! Removing the weed mat as I come across it and looking upon the pebbles as mulch! Everything growing well so far. The image at top of your blog is what I want here. Just a riot if colour in every hue. Cheerful. I hope! So grabbing cuttings and seeds etc from everywhere.. Looking forward to reading all your back blogs. Thanks. Kaye

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