Apricot Fancy Sir Edmund Hilary

Gilded Sunrise Allen's Surprise
The former National Garden of the
New Zealand Rhododendron Association
Haggerty Street, Kimbolton
Manawatu, New Zealand

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2016 has been another busy year and our final visit on December 7th -9th saw the Park looking splendid, with Peonies and Kalmia in full flower and quite a number of rhododendrons still in bloom. The main purpose of the visit was to continue dead-heading and try and get as much done before Christmas. We were very pleased to have Ian and Marie Mason join us and we have progressed quite well. There is still plenty to do and if you have a spare hour or two attacking a few more rhodos would be great. We will achieve a better flowering next year for Conference, if we dead head as many plants as possible.

A meeting was arranged with contractor, Tony Mc Intyre, to discuss replacing drain pipes across the top dam and removing insect damaged Astelia. This will be done when Tony is not so busy and the ground drier. Tony has very kindly `found’ some larger concrete pipes that will be very suitable for the job.

With the 2017 NZRA Conference “Gardens of the Country Road” approaching the Trust Board have embarked on an expenditure program to replace our appalling road signage, chalet refurbishment, some minor earthworks (as described) further urgent arborist work and previously flagged renewal of the internal garden signage. We have over the past three years accumulated some reasonable cash surplus which will enable us to accomplish the above programme notwithstanding that we have applied for grants for the garden signage and Chalet refurbishment. To date we have received $4000 from Eastern & Central Community Trust towards the garden signage and are awaiting a decision from NZ Community Trust on our application for assistance for the Chalet refurbishment. As the cost of the garden signage project is in the order of $13000 that will necessarily be a work in progress.

Planning for “Gardens of the Country Road”, October 27 –Oct 30, 2017, is progressing smoothly and as the date approaches no doubt the pace will pick up. The programme of garden visits has been finalised, bus itinerary drawn up, function venues booked and catering near to being finalised. All we need now are paying guests. Regardless of this being an NZRA conference there will be opportunities for Friends of Heritage Park to participate in the whole of conference or on a daily/function basis.

Closer to conference time we will no doubt be looking for assistance with the various tasks that go with the show, setting up venues, flower arranging, bus management, toilet logistics, packing guest gift bags etc, etc. So don’t be surprised if you find a finger pointing at you saying “Your Country Needs You”.

All in all this past year in the park has seen further progress with overdue tree maintenance, continued mulching and replacement of companion plant material. Once again Clint Stewart has kept up his very high standard of lawn care and weed control. What a battle Clint has had with the elements this season.

To all volunteers special thanks for your continuing loyal support of Heritage Park and in conclusion, Sue, Chris and I wish you a very enjoyable Xmas time with your family and friends. We trust the New Year will treat you kindly and to folk travelling take care on the roads.

Mike Wagstaff


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