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Rose Festival for Timaru begins November 29

One of New Zealand’s biggest rose festivals will be held in Timaru later this month. The inaugural Timaru Festival of Roses will take place on November 29 to December 1.

It will celebrate the rose and its significance to Timaru. The event will be held beside the noted Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden on Caroline Bay. Central South Island Tourism general manager Glen O’Brien said today the festival would be one of the biggest gardening events in the South Island this year. Leading authors, rosarians and plant specialists will be involved in a series of workshops, seminars and demonstrations. These include author and rosarian Barbara Lea Taylor of Akaroa, Jane Sutherland of Southern Charm Paeonies, Geraldine master florist Gislinde Folkerts and Kevin Garnett, supervisor of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens for 12 years.

Garden walks, a Heritage Rose display and rose show, and the official opening of the redeveloped Anderson Rose Garden at Timaru Botanic Gardens are other highlights.

Organising committee chairwoman Heather Coates said the nature photography workshop will be of great benefit to many people attending. ``The floral art display in the Caroline Bay Hall will also be a huge drawcard,” she said.

Timaru’s Botanic Gardens is home to what is considered to be one of the largest collections of species roses in the world.

The collection comprises more than 50 examples of the 130 species roses known to be in existence, and since its development in the early 1990s, the living plant museum has attracted interest around New Zealand and overseas.

Given that the Northern Hemisphere is the natural home for species roses, the collection in the Timaru Botanic Gardens is quite an achievement.

“This is certainly the only species rose garden in New Zealand,” said Mr Steans.

“There is one in Melbourne, but the Timaru garden is considered to be a very significant collection, not only in New Zealand but throughout Australasia.”

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