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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After all the bustle and fine tuning that went into organising the conference last year it was relatively restful to get back into our normal work programme in the Park.

It was very gratifying to receive the many complimentary reports from conference goers, particularly in reference to Heritage Park. It is fair to say that everybody was delighted to see how much the Park had matured and progressed since they had last visited during conference 2005, at the time Heritage Park was handed over by the NZRA.

These compliments are a just reward to all the members who freely and regularly give their time and energy to the maintenance of the Park. Without this input the Park would not be in the condition it now is.
Many thanks to, Clint Stewart, our lawn mowing & weed contractor who has been instrumental in keeping the Park looking immaculate over the last three years.

It is not just all hard work. There has been a strong camaraderie established amongst the weeders, pruners, dead-headers, mulchers and spreaders, planters, fire-wood gatherers.
Lunch and smoko times can often develop into strong debate over various aspects of Heritage Park management and at times even society and the world in general have benefited from our combined wisdom.

We have experienced a very significant increase in visitor numbers through the Park this past twelve months, mainly small bus trips from well outside the district. We attribute this to the upgrading of our website and also our new presence on Facebook. Sue Davies and Charles Foulds are responsible for managing this aspect of our promotion. Many thanks Sue and Charles.
More recently I have noticed, on work-days, that there has been an increase in casual visits by people from Palmerston North and districts out for a drive or a coffee at the Cafe.
On inquiring, I found it is the new tourism signs on the approaches to Kimbolton and at the Haggerty St junction that have caught their attention and directed them to the Park.

As a consequence of hosting the 2017 Conference our finances have experienced a significant boost thanks to three generous garden hosts who donated their fees back to Heritage Park, the generous contribution of plants for sale at conference by Olive Bayly and Sue Davies, the donations of special plants from Pukeiti, Bill Robinson of Tikitere Nursery, Dennis Hughes of Blue Mountain Nursery and Sue Davies and the contribution of home-baking for morning teas by the King Country ladies.
A very big vote of thanks is owed to all these generous supporters.

We have just been advised that our application to Eastern and Central Trust has been successful and we are now able to complete the new garden signage project. We look forward to shortly having a new sign, just over the main crossing, describing the points of interest in the lower area and a second sign up on the top lawn describing particular collections in that area. We are moving with the times.

This being the first newsletter of the 2018-2019 year we have some changes on the Trust Board.
After five years of faithful service Mary Manning is retiring from the role of secretary/treasurer. Mary stepped into the unknown taking up the role with a new chairperson of unknown ability. We very soon formed an excellent working relationship and I sincerely thank Mary for her dedication and meticulous oversight of our finances. You have done a sterling job Mary. The Trust Board made a presentation of a fine Magnolia tree to Mary at our last meeting in March.
The role of secretary/treasurer will be split into two positions with Alison Short accepting the role of secretary and Charles foulds that of treasurer.
Also at this time there has been a change of trustees with John Carswell not seeking re-election and who will be replaced by Doug Gordon from Kimbolton.
John has been a very valuable and supportive member of the Trust Board with his practical hands on experience and occasional cautionary comments when we appear to be getting carried away.
My gratitude goes to John for his time on the Trust Board and I am certain we shall still see him here from time to time.

Mike Wagstaff


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