Many years ago Vina went to a NZAGS show at the Horticultural Centre on Oxford Terrace with her neighbour and friend Ann de Lambert (another Society marvel), thereafter Vina went off to the Lillies group and Ann to the NZAGS meetings, but it didn’t take long for Vina to join the NZAGS herself.
Jean Foweraker outside the Alpine House bearing her name in The Botanic Gardens 1981, she gave many plants to the Gardens.
Bee Hannon and Jean Foweraker were the leaders who were welcoming gentle people and were excellent gardeners who were prepared to share their experience, visiting members gardens and helping out with tips and advice.
Vina really like the Societies field trips.They would head off on well organized trips by Ian Tweedie don to Otago, Southland and Nelson, even once to Tasmania and Melbourne! She really appreciated the friendships that developed on these trips. She was involved in the annual display the Society put on at the A and P show, the public showcase for the Society. This involved huge frames, sphagnum moss, rocks and flowers in vases. It was demanding but fun. The Society has visited her garden several times, but Vina feels it is not up to scratch for a visit these days. I venture to disagree, she has a lovely garden with drifts of Trilliums on one bank and Erythroniums on the other.
She has lovely trees and a wonderful outlook.Sitting in Vina’s house an eating her home baking, it is easy to see her artist’s hand and eye extends indoors as well as out. I really like the colours and subtlety of this planting, " just an accident", she says.
Her late husband, Keith and the architect Bill Skews collaborated to build a lovely home.The architectural lines and window placements really bring the garden in. Especially appealing is the front door area where vertical lines break up the window looking out onto a glorious, now wonderfully mature Japanese weeping maple or two.
Originally a landscape designer drew them up a plan with foundation planting, that is shrubs up against the house.Keith and Vina threw that idea out and designed their own garden.A steep bank with a sometimes creek runs through the section and this has been delightfully incorporated as a woodland.
One of Vina’s favourite garden photos of a mature Camichaelia stevensonii.
After this burst of floral wonder it turned up its toes.
We went off to visit the Crevice Garden and found Grant Matheson willing and eager to show us all his improvements and new plantings in the Rock Garden. I was amazed at Vina’s recall of plant variety names, and she was keen to get her hands on a new plant too.Age is no barrier, but it might mean we need to slow down a bit and let the weeds intermingle on the steep banks more than we might have liked once.
Coming next, Claire Patten and republished bulletin articles on some of our other special members