Twenty-five members and friends met on a beautiful sunny morning at Stromboli Retirement Village for the annual pruning demonstration in the garden of Pam and Keith Berning which used to be Stephen Rado’s garden. Stephen’s daughter was among the guests. Sheenagh Harris gave the demonstration ably assisted by Hugh Collier when requested.
A delicious tea with eats brought by members was served at the home of Sheenagh and Rob Harris. Pam Webber and Crystal Patterson were the recipients of the raffle prizes.
or Johannesburg-Beijing-Shenzhen-Nanyang, and return – the multi flight route
Kate Warr and I undertook on the way to the WFRS Regional Convention in
Nanyang, China. It was certainly a
relief to see representatives of the Nanyang Convention team at the airport to
meet us and transport us to the Holiday Inn.
The Holiday Inn Nanyang
was the Convention venue and provided accommodation to the many delegates. Nanyang, not being on the main tourist route
in China, did not offer much in the way of the English language! Fortunately, 400 “volunteers” had been
appointed to assist with the language problem – one per international delegate
with a few to spare. These young people
were studying English at a college or university and my Sophia was indeed a
great help to me during the 5 days in Nanyang.
The opening ceremony was
at the Nanyang World Garden Rose Garden which was also celebrating its opening. This Rose Garden consists of a north, east
and west gardens. The East Garden being
the core. A total of 5100 rose varieties
and 1.4 million plants adorn the park.
Our time was spent in the East Garden as we weren’t afforded sufficient
time to explore the other two sections.
Greeting teams were all over the park, seats had been reserved for us in
the 2nd tier and photographers were in abundance! The actual ceremony was beautifully choreographed
and Kate and I were “in the mood” despite the cold and slight drizzle.
Lectures commenced back at
the Holiday Inn at 14h00. The opening
lecture was by Viru and Girija Viraraghavan from India. The title of their talk was “Intrepid Roses –
how roses reached Indian gardens by perilous paths, treacherous seas, from swamps
and high mountains.” Viru and Girija
were one of the reasons I decided to come to Nanyang. I have heard them talk at conventions twice
before and they really are a mine of information on the rose in India. I was also lucky enough to travel on the flight
with them from Gongzho to Nanyang. It was
an interesting and informative talk and I thoroughly enjoyed their time at the
Other lectures were: “The
wild roses in Xinjiang and its use in breeding for cold-hardy roses” – Sui
Yunji (China); “Flora fragrance of rose rugosa cultivars in rose village of
Pingyin, China” – Naomi Okubo (Japan); “The different ploidy of old China roses
and their use in breeding” – Ji Naizhe (China) – I am afraid I was totally lost
in this “ploidy” explanation! Ploidy is
“the number of sets of homologous chromosomes in the genome of a cell or an
organism…”; “The most beautiful and important rose gardens in Europe” – Bernd
Weigel (Germany). A very personal
presentation and some of the delegates felt Bernd had missed some of the
important European gardens. And then it was time for dinner! A full 1st day and good reason for
a sound night’s sleep. (This was after a
visit to TV station for an awards and art performance.)
April was a 9h00 start with the 1st lectures: “In search of eco
roses” – Ping Lim (USA) and “Genetic study helps new variety breeding in roses”
by Li Shubin (China). My favourite part
of the morning’s proceedings was the panel discussion on root stock uses by 6
breeders from China, USA, France and the UK.
The “general” feeling expressed was that root stock is not a popular breeder’s
medium except in China. China’s amazing
standard roses or tree roses could not be produced without the use of root
That afternoon we visited
2 rose gardens and nurseries and finally the Nanyang Rose Expo Garden. This is the largest rose planting base in
China and they supply 80% of the domestic market. It is planted over a 200ha area, began in
2010 with a total ‘to date’ investment of 50 million Yuan. The tree roses in the garden were absolutely
amazing. Even Kate at her height of 1.78
meters was overshadowed by these roses!
lectures started at 8h30 with “The creation of new roses as designed” – Jim
Sproule (USA) another presenter I heard in Uruguay and Denmark and thoroughly
enjoy; “The great David Austin’s English roses” – Michael Marriot (UK). Michael had the most beautiful pictures of
David Austin roses and gardens. Further
lectures included “Roses in the era of internet” – Jiang Zhengzhi (China) and
“40 years among my roses” – Dominique Massad (France).
In the afternoon we
revisited the Nanyang World Garden Rose Garden and had some retail therapy at a
In the evening it was the
gala dinner and handover of the WFRS flag to India. Impressive, precise handover and a very
May 1st was a
full day tour of the Dinosaur Relics Park, Neixiang County Magistrates’ Office
and the Sheqi Shan-Shaan Guildhall in Shedian Ancient Town. Being a public holiday, there were many
Chinese families visiting these sights especially the Dinosaur Park.
Presentations were made of
future conventions including Kolkata, India; Adelaide, Australia and the
Heritage Rose Conference planned for in Brussels, Belgium. All very well done and informative.
May 2nd saw me starting my return journey to South
Africa. A very interesting and enjoyable
visit to Nanyang, China.
(More detailed accounts
will be given in the next ROSA Annual.)
Members were treated to a very special presentation of 3 new ECOBUZ products
Humigro: For feeding the soil
Startgro: an early growth nutrition
Multigro: all in one vitality nutrition
Karen Tocknell from Mango Moon introduced the guest speaker, Donvae Hooker who gave a very interesting and informative power point presentation of the new products. We were then shown wonderful photographs of Tanya Visser’s garden and saw the results of using these products. It was a real privilege for us to have Tanya as a very special guest speaker and as usual, her presentation kept us well entertained throughout the talk with lots of laughs.
MRS members were given samples of the new products as well as the latest copy of the Gardener magazine. Karen Tocknell also sold the product and other items after the talk and we will be offering these products to our members very soon.
This function was arranged to show members how to display their roses for competitions and a few members stayed on to hear Gill Wilson tell them about showing their roses.
Once again a most delicious tea was supplied by the committee and donations were collected for the Heritage Rose garden.
Thirty members and friends met at beautiful Bosky Dell on Saturday 30th March for a demonstration on propagating roses. Rae Gilbert, a born teacher with a vast rose knowledge and wide experience in growing roses gave a riveting demonstration and talk on how to grow own root roses in palm peat and vermiculite. She reminded us not to infringe on royalty laws and how to care for the newly propagated stems. Members had brought stems from their gardens and labels, made from yoghurt cartons. Some folk took the newly planted stems to care for at home and when established and mature, they will be used for KRS prizes and gifts.
Members brought a few roses from their gardens to discuss, the most interesting being distinguishing between ‘Cecile Brunner’ and ‘Bloomfield’s Abundance’. They also provided the raffle prizes and brought mugs and water for the tea while the committee brought delicious eats.
informative and happy morning was spent in beautiful surroundings for which we
are most grateful to Rae Gilbert.
The next KRS
meeting will be held on 18th May when a member of the committee is
going to teach the members to do decoupage with rosy paper napkins.
Twelve GRRS members journeyed out to Highveld Mushrooms on this Wednesday morning. What an interesting and inspiring visit. John was an exceptional host and we all came away with 3 punnets of the most delicious mushrooms.
The Society visited Adele van Staden’s beautiful garden in Melrose as our first function of 2019. It was a beautiful morning and we all enjoyed walking around the exquisite garden and admiring the roses, hydrangeas and azaleas. We once again had rose blooms in identification bottles and this is proving to be a popular stop at the tea table.
Garden visits are definitely our most popular events.
HERITAGE ROSE SOCIETY FRIENDS IN NATAL
AND THE EASTERN FREE STATE
to have rose friends en route to a holiday in Natal…
Rob and I spent
3 most enjoyable days with William and Clare Meyer on their beautiful property,
Sunset Farm outside Mooi River where they have 2,000 roses – fifty ‘Zulu Royal’
up the drive to the entrance to the garden and then an avenue of ‘Icebergs’ in full bloom welcoming guests to
the homestead where the Granny’s by the 100 takeover. Clare has a number of OGR’s and generously
gave me some to take to Rae Gilbert to add to the collection at Bosky Dell. As we left Sunset Farm, on the verge I found
a Rosa Bracteata MacCartney flowering as late as January.
From here Rob
and I travelled through the Eastern Free State hoping to see ‘Clarens
Centenary’, ‘Clocolan’ and ‘Ficksburg’ in the towns of those names. That night was spent with Rosemary and
Gordon Bentley on their farm outside Ladybrand on the way to Maseru. Rosemary joined the HRSSA at its inception in
1998 and has been a regular attendee of conventions ever since, often coming
with Barbara Long, Ingrid Rohde
and Karine de Bruyn. Rosemary kindly invited the others to dinner together with
Pam Parr who immediately joined the society, so there was much reminiscing
about the rose world. Rosemary’s roses
were only just recovering after a drought so there were not many flowering but
she is a keen OGR grower.
How fortunate we are to have such hospitable rose loving
friends round the country.