About Us

Heritage Roses New Zealand Incorporated exists to nurture interest in and love of the beautiful roses of the past, and to ensure the continued existence of these living antiques.

Heritage Roses New Zealand Inc. Objectives:

  • To foster an appreciation of heritage roses
  • To facilitate the conservation of heritage roses
  • To encourage the growing of heritage roses in private and public gardens
  • To provide opportunities for education and sharing of knowledge of heritage roses
  • To recognise excellence and achievement by the presentation of national awards, and
  • To function in harmony with other rose societies


About forty years ago I was an enthusiastic gardener, a collector of old-fashioned roses and a member of an Auckland Horticultural club. Now and again we would enjoy visiting other members’ gardens. In October 1979, it so happened that the next planned visit to a garden was at a place called Te Kauwhata in the Waikato area. We hired a bus and I ended up sitting next to a courteous elderly gentleman called Ken Nobbs, who also just happened to be an enthusiastic gardener and collector of old-fashioned roses. Ken had called his garden “The Roserie” and we could scent the perfume of the roses before we even got out of the bus. I will never forget that day and thought that I had found a kindred spirit.

A few days later I had a phone call from Ken suggesting that we might contact more old-rose enthusiasts if we advertised in gardening magazines, and that we could produce a “Bulletin” three times a year giving more information about how to grow old roses, where to see them and where to buy them. Until we had sufficient members to have a more structured “executive”, he would act as Convenor. I would be the Editor, and my hard-working husband was conned into being the Producer of the “Bulletin”—and so it began!

Now, forty years on, we still look forward to visiting gardens of old roses and reading the excellent Journal. Long may it live.

Best wishes from Toni & Ron Sylvester

Ann Endt, Ken Nobbs & Toni Sylvester

Definition of a heritage rose

The HRNZI definition of a heritage rose is one that is more than 100 years old.

Laure Davoust Multiflora (France 1834)