Delia Arnold and Malin Zachau judging rose blooms as part of their rose judges’ examination

Judging the rose

by Ann van Engelen

The Canterbury Rose Society has been established for approximately 80 years with members joining from across the region to learn about, promote and enjoy the rose.

“My husband Barry and I were so pleased we brought the land where we did here in Selwyn, and we started a nursery years ago specialising in miniature roses,” says president Dawn Eagle.

“Growing roses has been the nicest hobby we could have, and we have met some of the nicest people all over the world. The flowers have taken us places we would never have gone. I wrote two books, one called Eliza and the blue rose and Roses down under, which traces the journey of the rose from the Northern hemisphere to Australia and New Zealand as there were originally no naturally occurring roses south of the equator.”

The society encourages members to learn to grow the flowers better and become rose judges. “We teach how to create your own breeds and all the different facets to growing and hybridising, how to propagate from cuttings and much more. We are getting younger members now, and it is really nice.

“We hold monthly meetings, and annually we have a rose show at Burwood Hospital encouraging members to exhibit their blooms, and many patients view the displays, which really brightens up their lives.”

Recently four ladies took their first rose judging exam, a process that can take five years to become fully qualified.

“Delia Arnold, Malin Zachau, Barbara Duff and Jill Evans all passed with flying colours. It is great to see new people coming through, as members are starting to retire as they get older.

“Anyone interested in the rose society can check out our Facebook page Canterbury Rose Society.”