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New Zealand rose adventures

12 years ago

My DH and I are back from our New Zealand adventures. We were there almost three weeks. This was planned primarily as a hiking trip, but we allotted time for gardens and roses as well.

Our first garden was the Queenstown Garden, which we had visited on our previous trip five years ago. This lovely garden is mostly an arboretum, but they have a fine collection of climbing roses on the fence around the bowling green.

The second garden was in Christchurch. In addition to a very nice garden of modern roses (and again an arboretum), a few years ago they restored a lovely garden of old roses. We were there in late December (think late June in the northern hemisphere), so most of the early once bloomers were done. I did find a single bloom of Tom's favorite 'Tuscany' (or was it 'Tuscany Superb'? I forget.) What really amazed me was a fine 'Dorothy Perkins' in full flush, and without a trace of powdery mildew! I was astonished.

Finally, and best of all, in early January we had the privilege of going to Joanne and Norman Knight's home, the site of the Kauri Creek Nursery. This visit was arranged by our friend Jon of Wessex, and we also saw our gardening friend Joan Taylor there. Some of the members of this forum know her as well. It was a wonderful visit. Again, most of the roses were past their bloom, but it was easy to see the bones of this lovely garden. I don't think I could overstate just how friendly and welcoming Joanne and her husband were. And to top it off, Joanne fed us the most delicious strawberries.

We did many other memorable things on this trip. We hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, went kayaking, saw exhibits of Antarctic exploration, then visited glaciers, hot springs, Hobbiton, a kiwi hatchery, and sailed on a boat in the Auckland harbor. With all of this, our garden visits stand vividly as bright spots of a wonderful time.

I keep thinking that each new trip is the best ever. How will we ever top this one?


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