Every year Heritage Roses awards $1000 scholarship for research into heritage roses that is relevant both nationally and internationally and furthers knowledge of heritage roses. In honour of the Pratt family of Motueka’s contribution to heritage roses, the scholarship has been named The Pratt Family Scholarship.
Olga is well known to us all as long time convenor of Heritage Roses Northland and President from 2016 – 2019. Olga organised the 2014 Northland Pilgrimage and the 2018 National Conference in Whangarei. Her chosen scholarship is researching and recording the 42 year old history of HRNZI.
It all began when Lloyd and his wife, Ann wanted to transport roses from their Wellington garden to an old villa with 10 acres of bare land in Otaki, north of Wellington, that they purchased as a retirement project. Lloyd experimented with cuttings, and they were thrilled to find how easy it was. That gave them over a hundred different old roses to begin the new garden. The surplus were potted on and eventually became the beginnings of the old rose nursery, Trinity Farm.
Lloyd was already interested in Barbier’s wonderful wichuraiana ramblers, and began collecting them. He was fortunate that they grew like weeds. Then, stimulated by reading Nancy Steen they began to understand rose family characteristics, and with the understanding came ‘cutting raids’ every winter, when gardening friends would willingly let them take cuttings of ‘their’ favourite old roses.
On publication of the first Trinity farm catalogue, offers of more roses came in and collecting heritage roses became an obsession and led eventually to Lloyd writing the book the Barbiers and their Roses.
Clare Gleeson is a social historian and garden writer, with a particular interest in New Zealand’s garden history. She has had articles on New Zealand’s gardens and their history published in “New Zealand Gardener”, “The Gardener’s Journal”, “Australian Garden History” “Historic Gardens Review” and the “The Journal of New Zealand Studies”. Clare gardens on the Kapiti Coast and in Wellington where she has over 80 roses in her garden.
Click here to read Clare’s scholarship report
I was awarded the Pratt Family Scholarship in 2019. My research involved finding and propagating Old Roses in Otago, and also looking into the early Nurserymen of Otago and the contribution they made to the introduction of early roses in the area.
I gathered cuttings, both softwood and hardwood, from old building sites, roadsides and cemeteries and propagated the roses, giving the plants to Murray Radka to add to his extensive collection at “Brandy Hill”, to grow on, and hopefully be identified one day.
My research was documented in a limited edition booklet, and in May 2021 I went on a speaking tour of New Zealand with the Heritage Roses President, Clare Haig. My talks were on the roses I had found and the stories of the early pioneers behind the roses.
I did 11 talks from Invercargill to Kerikeri, and we were away for 23 days on tour. The hospitality we received, and the wonderful food we were served, prompted me to put together “Roses and Recipes” – a book of recipes submitted by Heritage Roses members from all over New Zealand. It also includes photos and descriptions of old roses and ideas for using roses in cooking.