Society helpful to novice grower
Karen O’Hanlon knew nothing about roses or how to grow them but had always had a special fondness for the flower.
She set out on a mission to find out more and 18 months ago, became a member of the Matamata Rose Society.
‘‘ The Rose Society is the first group I’ve belonged to in Matamata and I’ve been here for more than 30 years,’’ she said.
‘‘Members are very knowledgeable and so willing to pass on their tips and advice to me. I have been invited along to other members’ gardens.’’
Karen and her husband Terry, who own Tower Rd Motel, had been thinking about redesigning their back garden area to cater for functions such as birthdays and weddings.
Redesigning the garden area has meant that Karen has been able to spend a lot of time tending to her roses and doing what she loves.
Faye Shaddock helps Karen with the gardening twice a week.
‘‘We started with a blank canvas. We wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere. The whole package can be offered here – a venue for a wedding ceremony and reception and accommodation,’’ said Karen.
Tower Rd Motel guests also appreciate the time and effort Karen and Terry have put into their garden area.
‘‘Overseas visitors love the opportunity to be able to wander around in the garden,’’ she said.
Karen took six roses along to last year’s Matamata Rose Show and entered the First Time Exhibitor Class category.
‘‘I can remember walking through the door and thinking ‘ I’m way out of my league here!’ but they were all so welcoming and friendly,’’ she said. ‘‘When I won that category, I couldn’t believe it.’’ The Matamata Rose Society will be having their end-of-year Christmas dinner in the garden at Tower Rd Motel in December.
Karen tends to lean towards buying roses by their names.
Both her parents passed away in the last four years and so she has a rose called My Mum and one called Lest We Forget in her garden.
The Lest We Forget rose holds special significance because her dad was also a war veteran.
‘‘I’m very lucky to have a husband who lets me spend money on roses and other things.’’
Everyone should have a look at the Matamata Rose Show on November 23, Karen said.
‘‘I would encourage anyone in Matamata to head along to the rose show. There are some beautiful roses on display and the hall smells wonderful.’’
A rose among friends: Matamata Rose Society member Karen O’Hanlon admires her Red Sox Climber roses in the garden of her Tower Rd Motel.