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Heritage Garden Celebrates Seniors, Armed Forces

Media Release
6 November 2006

Sentinel Heritage Garden Celebrates Seniors, Armed Forces

Men and women who served New Zealand in the armed forces are being celebrated in a unique ‘heritage garden’ at the Ellerslie International Flower Show this year.

Previous gold medal-winning designer Sandra Arnet has been retained by Flower Show sponsor Sentinel to create a garden celebrating returned services, in honour of the Year of the Veteran. In doing so, she has turned her back on the sculptural, leafy, iconic gardens of the Flower Show in past years to showcase scented and colourful blooms that visitors love.

Hundreds of brilliant scarlet soldier poppies, hundreds of antique roses in creamy whites and scarlets are being groomed to flowering by select nurseries for the Sentinel Heritage Garden, which opens with the event on 15 November.

“Sentinel wanted a garden reference to the RSA, including the palette of their colours,” says Sandra. “It’s a traditional heritage garden, which should be in full bloom in November. We wanted people to walk in and say ‘this reminds of my grandmother’s garden – she had roses like that’. We wanted people to feel they were going back in time.”

A rose called “Lest we forget”, named for the RSA, and the first rose ever planted in New Zealand “Slaters Crimson China” - possibly brought to New Zealand from a Sydney nursery by the enterprising Rangitira Ruatara, for Samuel Marsden’s mission in the Bay of Islands in 1814 – are expected to feature. The cutting this rose was grown from descends directly from that first rose.

Winding through Sentinel’s Heritage Garden will be flagstone paths, with beautiful replica stone seats. Wooden gates and a red-roofed Victorian gazebo complete the picture. The gazebo is expected to be auctioned by Sentinel on Trademe after the Flower Show, with the proceeds going to the RSA. Tea will be served in the gazebo with priority to seniors, and radio personalities Leighton Smith, Alice Worsley and Bill Mudgway will attend the garden at various times throughout the show

In keeping with its commitment to seniors, Sentinel is giving away packets of soldier poppies to visitors to the garden. The company is also assisting Grey Power, RSA and Aged Concern members through discounted tickets and special buses to attend from around the greater Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty region.

The Sentinel Heritage Garden will also feature hydrangeas, lavenders, and flowering perennials.


Sentinel is the country’s leading home equity release provider with 3,000 clients. Home equity release loans are provided to people over 60 years who own their own home. Nothing needs to be paid on the loans until the person dies, the house is sold and the estate is settled.

About Sandra Arnet:

Sandra Arnet is a former television designer, renowned for her work on series such as Gloss (final two series). She turned her passion of gardening into a job after retraining through Massey as a landscape designer, while her second child was 15 months old. Sandra won a gold medal at Ellerslie in the first year she entered, for a ‘coastal reef garden’ designed for a beach house environment. While her own garden is modern and tropical, she is enchanted by roses. “If I had an old house, I’d probably put a heritage garden in,” she says.


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