Considering this area had just emerged from
a severe, two year drought, it was very pleasing to view such
beautiful gardens and lush countryside.
Credit must go to
the garden owners for presenting their gardens to such a high
standard with plants showing no signs of having been stressed as
a result of dryness.
Couriers provided very interesting
commentaries on the region, one which is rich in farming
Hanmer proved an ideal base for conference. Many
delegates took the opportunity to take a dip in the thermal
pools on the free evening. A walk through Queen Mary hospital
grounds was interesting, especially after listening to a talk
given by Dr Graeme Schrivener, the lunchtime speaker on day two.
A Past NZRA President, Gordon Bailey was the keynote speaker
on opening night. He gave us an insight into how treacherous
plant hunting can be in the remote areas of the Chinese
Thank you to the organising committee and
helpers for a wonderful event. Some of these folk were not NZRA
members so had never attended any of our conferences. NZRA are
most grateful for the time and energy they put into making this
conference possible at quite short notice.
Just ten days
after conference concluded the Kaikoura earthquake, 7.8 in
magnitude, hit. The impact on many of the properties we visited
was immense. Huge walls of land rose, new lakes were formed and
houses were trashed. Our thoughts immediately went out to the
people whose gardens we visited, some of whom were the main
organisers of our conference. We hope those who were affected
are now on the road to recovery and can see brightness at the
end of the tunnel.