So­ci­ety help­ful to novice grower

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

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.

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