Manawatu Conference 2017 Report

NZ Rhododendron Conference in Feilding 2017

What a pleasure it was for us after a few year's absence from conferences to attend the Feilding Conference and to meet up with old friends and fellow gardeners once again.

To be able to have the conference visit Heritage Park again was a real highlight. The garden was a jewel in all its glory at peak flowering, so beautifully presented, an absolute credit to all the volunteers who tirelessly upkeep and maintain It. With all the new borders and vistas of the countryside from different areas, It was mind blowing to say the least.

The whole conference was so well organised from the Meet and Greet to the shuttle bus service in the evenings. The daily bus pickups from motels and the ability to stay on the same bus each day worked really well. To the conference committee, congratulations, you did a sterling job and left no stone unturned to make it so enjoyable. Conference Convenor Mike kept the daily programmes flowing smoothly and apart from a little drizzle on the Sunday the weather played ball.

A pleasant feature of the banquet evening on the Sunday was the plant auction. The local auctioneer was excellent and Sue Davies and Denis Hughes described the plants in glowing terms and the plants were indeed of high quality. The bidding from the delegates was instant and enthusiastic with the plants reaching extremely good prices. As a result, a good amount of money was raised for Heritage Park.
A large number of species plants from Sue & Lindsay Davies were also for sale and 100 large Mollis azaleas from Crosshills were given away to conference delegates, a very grand gesture. All this activity provided a pleasant atmosphere to the banquet evening along with a 'flowery lady' whose singing and music even had some of us up dancing.

To the garden owners, your gardens were a pleasure to behold and the plant sales of perennials at both Tiro Roa and Greenhaugh gardens were extremely busy and there were many bags of treasures going back on the buses.

Thank you once again Heritage Park Rhododendron Charitable Trust for all the work you did to make our visit an enjoyable part of such a memorable Conference

Juanita Elley