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