Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Growing a nation of gardeners

Media Release

29 August 2014
Growing a nation of gardeners - NZ Gardener celebrates 70 years in print

The country’s best-loved gardening magazine, NZ Gardener, is celebrating 70 years in print this month; making it the oldest continuously published magazine in New Zealand.

To celebrate the anniversary, the magazine has reprinted its very first edition, from September 1944, and a copy of this special collectable publication is being given away with the September issue. Looking back at the first magazine, and through NZ Gardener’s extensive archives, shows just how dramatically our gardens, and gardening habits, have changed in those seven decades, NZ Gardener’s editor Jo McCarroll says.

“When the magazine was launched, New Zealand was still in the throes of World War II. In fact the first editor, Jim Matthews had to get a special Act of Parliament passed to make enough newsprint available since paper was rationed at the time,” Jo says. “But Jim made a case saying a local gardening magazine would raise the country’s morale and encourage Kiwis to grow their own food to support the Dig for Victory campaign. So the law was passed and NZ Gardener was launched.”

Looking back at issues from the 40s and even 50s, there are plenty of things that might cause a modern gardener’s eyebrows to twitch, Jo says. “There are ads for garden products featuring DDT, arsenate of lead and 2,4-D. There are instructions for felling a garden tree which suggest blasting the stump out with dynamite. And there are stories about the hand and arm problems common to gardeners back then that we’d now recognise as Occupational Overuse Syndrome – with no electric hedge clippers until the late 1970s, all hedges were trimmed by hand.”

Popular NZ Gardener columnist, Kapiti plantsman Julian Matthews, himself an ex-editor of the magazine, is the son of the founders Jim and Barbara. “NZ Gardener got started because my father was so passionate about gardening. He’d been a journalist, and a very successful one, but every spare moment was devoted tinkering around with plants.

“It’s interesting to see how much enthusiasm there is in growing your own food again now. People really had nothing during the war years and were growing their own fruit and veg just to put food on the table. Now, people are still growing food to help the family budget, but also because the freshness of food is so important and there’s much more awareness of where your food comes from. And there’s so much interest in cooking! Gardeners know homegrown always tastes best. We’ve come back full circle, we’re just doing it in a more sophisticated way.”

In the September issue celebrating the 70th anniversary (on sale September 1), Jo McCarroll interviews a Christchurch nonagenarian who has been reading the magazine since the very first issue. “Avril Chapman was working at NZ Gardener’s original publishers, Reed Publishing in Wellington, in 1944,” Jo says. “She told me so she remembers the day the first issue came in. She says it was completely new and different to what had been done before and a welcome distraction during the war. She read every page, and has read the magazine ever since.”
Jo says looking back has been a fascinating journey for the team at NZ Gardener. “So many things have changed in terms of how we garden today. Although there’s also plenty of very sound advice in the old issues! There’s a tip in the very first issue about using seaweed on your asparagus that I am going to try myself!”

September’s special 70th anniversary edition also includes 70 expert tips on growing fruit and vegetables; and a look back at 70 years of wedding flowers in New Zealand, plus great recipes, advice on what to sow and plant now, tips on growing your own pecans and a guide to creating perfume from herbs.

“Looking back at the old issues, one thing is clear, New Zealand has always been a nation of gardeners,” Jo says. “And still is! Here’s to many more years ahead.”

-Ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 


Government: RSI ‘State Of The Nation’ Report Published
latest research, science and innovation system report card is now available, and outlines how the system is performing, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods has announced. “The report seeks to increase transparency, act as a reliable data source and stimulate discussion... More>>




Fonterra: Increases 2021/22 Forecast Farmgate Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased and narrowed its forecast Farmgate Milk Price range to NZD $7.90 - $8.90 per kgMS, from NZD $7.25 - $8.75 per kgMS. The midpoint of the range, which farmers are paid off, has increased to NZD $8.40 per kgMS, from NZD $8.00 per kgMS... More>>

Stats: Auckland’s Population Falls For The First Time
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand’s population growth slowed down with Auckland recording a population decline for the first time ever, Stats NZ said today. “New Zealand saw slowing population growth in all regions... More>>



Pamu & Westpac: Market-leading Sustainability-Linked Loan

Westpac NZ and Pāmu have signed New Zealand’s most comprehensive Sustainability-Linked Loan to date, also the largest in the agricultural sector, and the first involving a state-owned enterprise. Pāmu, also known as Landcorp, is New Zealand’s biggest farming business. It will borrow $85m from Westpac NZ over three years... More>>


Retail NZ: Some Good News In COVID Announcements, But Firm Dates Needed

Retail NZ is welcoming news that the Government is increasing financial support for businesses in light of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, and that retail will be able to open at all stages of the new “Covid Protection Framework... More>>

ComCom: Companies In Hot Water For Selling Unsafe Hot Water Bottles And Toys

A wholesaler and a retailer have been fined a total of $140,000 under the Fair Trading Act for selling hot water bottles and toys that did not comply with mandatory safety requirements. Paramount Merchandise Company Limited (Paramount) was fined $104,000 after pleading guilty in the Manukau District Court... More>>