New Zealand Garden Journal

Articles from the journal of the RNZIH



Aloidendron barberae, a spectacular tree-like aloe planted by Jack Hobbs in his home garden. Photo: Sally Tagg/NZ Gardener/Stuff.
A selection of bromeliads growing in a garden border. Photo: © Geoffrey Marshall.
Volume 25, Number 1, June 2022
(contents page)
Volume 25, Number 2, December 2022
(contents page)
  • Ian Soper: FRIH Ian Arthur Soper, Fellow (FRIH) of the RNZIH for 2022.
  • Sue Molloy: FRIH Susan Caroline Riera Molloy, Fellow (FRIH) of the RNZIH for 2022.
  • Gus Evans: AHRIH Grant (‘Gus’) Gordon Evans, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2022.
  • Obituaries
  • Des Riach Desmond (‘Des’) Riach (25 Dec 1930 – 22 Feb 2021).
  • Derrick Rooney Derrick Rooney (11 March 1938 – 19 February 2022).
  • Book review
  • The genus Clivia Dr Keith Hammett writes about the species and hybrids of Clivia.
  • Obituary
  • Book reviews


Tagetes patula ‘Durango Flame’, a French marigold cultivar grown at Wellington Botanic Garden. Photo: Clare Shearman.
Cymbidium Devon Odyssey, a hybrid orchid. Photo: © Geoffrey Marshall.
Volume 24, Number 1, June 2021
(contents page)
Volume 24, Number 2, December 2021
(contents page)
  • 2021 RNZIH Awards
  • Robin Pagan: AHRIH Robin James Pagan, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2021.
  • Russell Lowe: AHRIH Russell George Lowe, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2021.
  • Erratum The printed version of the December 2020 New Zealand Garden Journal (ISSN 1173-7425) was mislabelled Vol. 24 (No. 2). The correct number is Vol. 23 (No. 2).


Tamarillos (Solanum betaceum), a red-skinned form developed in New Zealand. Photo: ©Plant & Food Research.
Canna ‘Gabriel’, an outstanding selection raised by Jack Hobbs at Auckland Botanic Gardens. Photo: Jack Hobbs.
Volume 23, Number 1, June 2020
(contents page)
Volume 23, Number 2, December 2020
(contents page)
  • The melon and the dahlia Bill Barclay writes of the high standards of cultivation of the musk melon in Japan, trials in New Zealand to replicate these standards, and a Japanese – New Zealand connection in breeding dahlia.
  • Forestry is a dark word Derrick Rooney delves into the chequered history and medieval meanings for forestry related terms such as ‘forest’, ‘forester’, and ‘park’.
  • 2020 RNZIH Awards
  • Bill Steans: FRIH William (‘Bill’) Frank Charles Steans, Fellow (FRIH) of the RNZIH for 2020.
  • Penny Zino: FRIH Penelope (‘Penny’) Jane Zino, Fellow (FRIH) of the RNZIH for 2020.
  • Bill Brett: AHRIH William (‘Bill’) Henry Brett, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2020.
  • Obituaries
  • Phil Jew AHRIH, MBE Philip (‘Phil’) Joseph Jew AHRIH, MBE (17 February 1929 – 10 November 2019).
  • Rare plants: Have we got it right? Derrick Rooney provides a thought-provoking article on apparent versus real rarity of plants and questions New Zealand’s conservation priorities.
  • Book reviews


Clivia ‘Peach’ × ‘Diana’, a hybrid raised by Ian Duncalf. Photo: Sandra Simpson.
The succulent collection at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo: Karin van der Walt.
Volume 22, Number 1, June 2019
(contents page)
Volume 22, Number 2, December 2019
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  • 2019 RNZIH Awards
  • Chris Webb: FRIH Christopher Charles Webb, Fellow (FRIH) of the RNZIH for 2019.
  • Marion MacKay: AHRIH Dr Marion Brenda MacKay, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2019.
  • Helen Leach: AHRIH Prof Helen May Leach, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2019.
  • Obituaries
  • Obituaries
  • Travis Flint Travis Nonnet Flint (1924 – 12 July 2018).


Hemerocallis ‘Peek-A-Boo Eyes’. Photo: Jack Hobbs.
The ‘dry garden’ at Landsendt’s subtropical garden. Photo courtesy Annemarie Endt-Ferwerda.
Volume 21, Number 1, June 2018
(contents page)
Volume 21, Number 2, December 2018
(contents page)
  • 2018 RNZIH Awards
  • David Sole: AHRIH David Timothy Sole, Associate of Honour (AHRIH) of the RNZIH for 2018.
  • Obituaries
  • Jolyon Manning Jolyon Christopher Manning (4 October 1933 – 9 April 2018).


Pleurophyllum criniferum. Photo: Terry Hatch. Begonia 'Dragon Wing Red'. Photo: Jack Hobbs.
Volume 20, Number 1, June 2017
(contents page)
Volume 20, Number 2, December 2017
(contents page)
  • 2017 RNZIH Awards
  • Alan Trott: FRIH Alan George Trott: Fellow of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (FRIH).
  • John Paynter: AHRIH Maxwell John Paynter: Award of Associate of Honour of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (AHRIH).
  • Obituaries
  • Roly Earp AHRIH Roland (‘Roly’) Woodroffe Earp AHRIH (18 Sept 1923 – 18 Dec 2016).
  • Ron Davison FRIH Dr Ronald (‘Ron’) Meric Davison FRIH (18 Nov 1927 ‒ 20 April 2017).
  • Book reviews
  • Obituaries
  • Russell Fransham Obituary of Russell John Fransham (7 May 1948 – 5 Dec 2017).
  • Book Review


Carmichaelia glabrescens (pink broom). Photo: Murray Dawson. Kniphofia 'Percy's Pride' (red-hot poker). Photo: Jack Hobbs.
Volume 19, Number 1, June 2016
(contents page)
Volume 19, Number 2, December 2016
(contents page)
  • Obituaries
  • Diane Arthur Obituary of Diane Rae Arthur (9 Aug 1941 – 28 April 2016).
  • Rod Bieleski Obituary of Roderick (‘Rod’) Leon Bieleski (3 Aug 1931 – 15 Nov 2016).


Gladiolus x brenchleyensis. Photo: Colin Jamieson. Hemerocallis 'Little Grapette'. Photo: Jack Hobbs.
Volume 18, Number 1, June 2015
(contents page)
Volume 18, Number 2, December 2015
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Three articles from the ‘Up the Garden Path Conference’, 2–4 March 2015

  • 2015 RNZIH Awards
  • Azolla, the wonder plant Dr R. L. Bieleski reveals some remarkable and unexpected abilities possessed by this water fern.


Ficus macrophylla, the Moreton Bay fig, a notable tree growing at Glen Taylor School, Glen Innes, and part of Auckland's remarkable urban forest. Photo: Mike Wilcox. The iconic Chatham Island forget-me-not (Myosotidium hortensia). Photo: Natasha Polyakova.
Volume 17, Number 1, June 2014
(contents page)
Volume 17, Number 2, December 2014
(contents page)
  • The 2014 Banks Memorial Lecture: Auckland’s remarkable urban forest Dr Mike Wilcox highlights trees found in six forest types in urban Auckland: native bush remnants, native revegetation, exotic woodland, home garden trees, street trees, and larger sites (including parks, historic homesteads, schools, campuses, golf courses and cemeteries).
  • 2014 RNZIH Awards Dr Michael Wilcox: Award in Garden History. Vance James Hooper: Plant Raisers’ Award.
  • Dr Mike Wilcox: Award in Garden History
  • Vance Hooper: Plant Raisers’ Award
  • Book reviews The essential Audrey Eagle: Botanical art of New Zealand. By Audrey Eagle, reviewed by Cathy Jones. A selection of book reviews courtesy of the Weekend Gardener magazine.
  • The essential Audrey Eagle: Botanical art of New Zealand
  • A selection of book reviews courtesy of the Weekend Gardener magazine
  • Chatham Island forget-me-nots Gordon Collier discusses the iconic Chatham Island forget-me-not, Myosotidium hortensia, based on his visits to the island group.

News from the RNZIH Education Trust

  • 2014 YHOTY finalists biographies 2014 YHOTY finalists biographies: The biographies of sector finalists Patrick Malley, Sarah Fenwick, Jacqui Jones, Nicolas Muir, Paul Robinson and Caitlin Thorburn.

  • Errata and addenda Additional notes on NZ natives as weeds on distant shores. (New Zealand Garden Journal, 2014, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 10-24).


The belladonna lily (Amaryllis belladonna). Image: Rod Bieleski. Rosa 'Prospero', a David Austin English Rose. Photographed by Jack Hobbs at Ayrlies Garden.
Volume 16, Number 1, June 2013
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Volume 16, Number 2, December 2013
(contents page)
  • Ian Baldick: Plant Raisers’ Award
  • Neiel Drain: AHRIH
  • Obituaries
  • Muriel Ethelwyn Fisher Muriel Fisher was an Associate of Honour of the RNZIH, garden author, native plantswoman and co-creator of Fernglen Native Plant Gardens on Auckland’s North Shore. She was responsible for transferring her property Fernglen into public ownership for all to enjoy.
  • R. Noel McMillan Noel McMillan was a Huntly-based teacher, community worker and plantsman known for his breeding work with polyanthus and cyclamen.
  • Above the treeline: A nature guide to alpine New Zealand
  • Auckland’s remarkable urban forest
  • Latin for gardeners
  • Neville Davies
  • Les Cleveland
  • Ross Stuart
  • Stewart Preston
  • Ayrlies: My story, my garden
  • Plant life on Banks Peninsula


Rosa 'Serendipity', a high performing Floribunda rose growing at Auckland Botanic Gardens. Image: Jack Hobbs. Lathyrus 'Blue Shift', a sweet pea hybrid raised and photographed by Keith Hammett.
Volume 15, Number 1, June 2012
(contents page)
Volume 15, Number 2, December 2012
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Two articles from the NZ Gardens Trust ‘Waikato Bouquet’ conference, 27–29 April 2012

  • Alan Jellyman: Award in Garden History
  • Jim Rumbal: Plant Raisers’ Award
  • Kerei Thompson: FRIH
  • Andrew Maloy: AHRIH
  • Kenneth Walter Kiddle
  • George Brington Malcolm
  • Michaelmas daisies Derrick Rooney shares his observations on asters and outlines the crosses he has made.

News from the RNZIH Education Trust

  • 2012 YHOTY winning speech Congratulations to Daniel Chong who won the Best Speech Award at the 2012 YHOTY final. His speech, on the skills needed of future leaders in the horticultural industry, is reproduced here.
  • YHOTY travel reports Past winners Rangi Green and Dave Harris report on their overseas travel experiences gained through YHOTY prizes.

  • Two ethnobotanical books, reviewed by Sue Scheele
  • Four books on the western tradition of botanical illustration, reviewed by Ross Ferguson
  • Four books on horticulture and botany, reviewed by Murray Dawson


Eschscholzia californica (Californian poppy), a weedy garden escape growing along the Selwyn River, Canterbury. Image: Murray Dawson. Leptospermum scoparium ‘Julianne’, a pink-flowered manuka brought into cultivation from the Aupouri Peninsula, Northland. Image: Graeme Platt.
Volume 14, Number 1, June 2011
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Volume 14, Number 2, December 2011
(contents page)
  • New weed identification key online Murray Dawson and Julia Wilson-Davey describe a new interactive identification key to New Zealand weeds and outline other recently completed and forthcoming keys.
  • Arthur John Francis Healy
  • Rona Winsome Shepherd
  • The growing world of Duncan and Davies: A horticultural history 1899–2010
  • New Zealand’s Native Trees
  • Trees of New Zealand: Stories of beauty and character
  • Plants of Pukeiti Forest
  • In the footsteps of Augustine Henry and his Chinese plant collectors
  • A selection of book reviews courtesy of the Weekend Gardener magazine


Metrosideros excelsa ‘Blockhouse Bay’. Photo: Jack Hobbs. Metrosideros fulgens ‘Gold’, a yellow-flowered variant of the species. Image: ©Paul Ashford (
Volume 13, Number 1, June 2010
(contents page)
Volume 13, Number 2, December 2010
(contents page)
  • Work of the Koanga Institute Kay Baxter outlines the Koanga Institute's mission to save seed of traditional food plants in New Zealand.
  • Ross Beever
  • Eric Godley
  • Rene Orchiston
  • Illustrated guide to New Zealand sun orchids,
    Thelymitra (Orchidaceae)
  • Erratum Erratum for the 2010 Banks Memorial Lecture.


The Chinese Garden in Dunedin. Image: Murray Dawson. Leptospermum scoparium ‘Crimson Glory’, an outstanding double-flowered mänuka cultivar. Image: Jack Hobbs.
Volume 12, Number 1, June 2009
(contents page)
Volume 12, Number 2, December 2009
(contents page)
Two articles from the RNZIH ‘Heritage Trees – our future heritage’ symposium, 8 May 2008

  • Standing tall for heritage Nicola Jackson outlines why trees are part of our heritage and how they are recognised by the NZ Historic Places Trust.

Two articles from the NZ Gardens Trust ‘The Rugged Frontier’ conference, 24–26 April 2009

  • Christopher Johnstone: Award in Garden History
  • Peter Cave: Plant Raisers’ Award
  • Michael Ayrton: AHRIH
  • Denis Hughes: AHRIH
  • Trevor Davies
  • Alastair Turnbull
  • Know Your New Zealand...Native Plants
  • Plants That Poison: A New Zealand guide
  • Creating Your Eco-friendly Garden
  • Erratum Erratum for the 2008 Banks Memorial Lecture.
Eight articles from the cultivated plants workshop ‘The cultivated plant names problem: towards a multi-agency solution’, 9 September 2009

  • Research perspectives Peter Heenan and Murray Dawson present plant names issues from a research viewpoint.

  • Obituary: E. Hugh Latimer We record the passing of Hugh Latimer who was a former Park Director of Cornwall Park Trust Board. Hugh joined the RNZIH in 1962 and was made an Associate of Honour in 1980.



Mountain neinei (Dracophyllum traversii), a distinctive dragon-leaf tree of New Zealand. Image: ©Paul Ashford ( Banksia integrifolia, also known as the coast Banksia, is named after Sir Joseph Banks. Image: Jack Hobbs, Auckland Botanic Gardens.
Volume 11, Number 1, June 2008
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Volume 11, Number 2, December 2008
(contents page)
Feature on plant taxonomy and DNA

  • Book reviews
  • 2008 RNZIH Awards Citations for Award in Garden History (Helen Leach), and Associates of Honour (AHRIH, Peter Arthur and Peter Sergel). Compiled by Ross Ferguson and Jack Hobbs.
  • Helen Leach: Award in Garden History
  • Peter Arthur: AHRIH
  • Peter Sergel: AHRIH
  • Joan Dingley
  • John Hudson
  • Lindsay Poole
  • Ted Sweetman
  • Max Goodey
  • Margaret Hughes
  • Gifts from the Gardens of China
  • Hortus Veitchii
  • British Naturalists in Qing China: Science, empire, and cultural encounter
  • Good Gardens with Less Water
  • Plant Heritage New Zealand: Te Whakapapa o nga Rakau. Interpreting the special features of native plants
  • A selection of the best and most interesting book reviews of 2007


Front Cover: Hebe ‘Wiri Desire’, a cultivar raised and photographed by Jack Hobbs. Front Cover: Kowhai (Sophora tetraptera). Image courtesy Jack Hobbs.
Volume 10, Number 1, June 2007
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Volume 10, Number 2, December 2007
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Papers based upon the ‘Plants as Infrastructure’ conference, 24–25 March 2006 – Part 2

  • 2007 RNZIH Awards Citations for Award in Garden History (John Adam), Plant Raisers Award (Mark Jury), Fellow (FRIH, Penny Cliffin), and Associates of Honour (AHRIH, Margaret Barker, Brian Molloy and Graham Smith). Compiled by Ross Ferguson and others.
  • John Adam: Award in Garden History
  • Mark Jury: Plant Raisers Award
  • Penny Cliffin: FRIH
  • Margaret Barker: AHRIH
  • Brian Molloy: AHRIH
  • Graham Smith: AHRIH
  • Book reviews
  • A new Hebe? Derrick Rooney describes a possible new hebe from South Canterbury.
  • New interactive plant identification keys Murray Dawson and Kerry Ford unveil two innovative projects to produce computer-based identification keys of New Zealand grasses and National Pest Plant Accord species.
  • Obituaries
  • Graham Francis Harris Leanne Rate presents an obituary for Graham Harris, a leading international ethnobotany researcher.
  • Book reviews


Front Cover: Indian Char Bagh Garden, Hamilton Gardens. Front Cover: Pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) flowers, Orokawa Bay, New Zealand. Image: Neil Fitzgerald (
Volume 9, Number 1, June 2006
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Volume 9, Number 2, December 2006
(contents page)
Papers based upon the "Plants as Infrastructure" conference, 24–25 March 2006

  • AHRIH citation: Neville Haydon The RNZIH have awarded Neville Haydon an Associate of Honour, and his citation is reproduced here. Neville is a most worthy recipient for his camellia breeding work amongst many other achievements. He has also served as the Honorary Treasurer of both the RNZIH New Zealand Gardens Trust and the RNZIH Education Trust.
  • Obituary: Peter Skellerup CBE Mike Crean records the passing of Peter Skellerup in May 2006, who was one of the vice-patrons of the RNZIH, and also a respected businessmen, long serving Councillor and former Deputy Mayor of Christchurch. The RNZIH administer a Plant Conservation Scholarship named after him, and in this way he will continue to be remembered by the Institute in promoting and assisting the conservation of New Zealand's indigenous and exotic plant resources.


Front Cover: The South African giant poker lily, Kniphofia northiae, growing in the Savanna bed of the Dunedin Botanic Garden. Image courtesy Dunedin Botanic Garden. Front Cover: Azaleas in full flower at Larnach Castle during spring. Image courtesy Margaret and Sophie Barker.
Volume 8, Number 1, June 2005
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Volume 8, Number 2, December 2005
(contents page)
  • Book Reviews A selection of the best and most interesting book reviews of 2004.
Papers based upon the talks at the New Zealand Gardens Trust “Going for Gold” Conference, 6–8 May 2005

  • Winning gold at Chelsea Trish Waugh shares her experiences as part of the gold award winning team at the Chelsea Flower Show, UK, in 2004. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.
  • Setting standards and achieving them Mick Reece discusses setting standards to provide consistent performance and achieving recognised customer satisfaction, using visits to the RHS garden at Wisley and the National Trust garden Sissinghurst in the UK as examples. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.
  • On the garden trail Gordon Collier describes his work as an assessor for the New Zealand Gardens Trust and the gardens that he has visited. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.
  • Design excellence: playing with scale and space Neil Ross discusses how to enhance your garden by manipulating scale and space from a design perspective. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.
  • Quality: more than a stroll in the park Ron Russell, National Sales and Account Manager of Qualmark®, provides an outline of New Zealand's official tourism quality endorsement agency and their partnership with the New Zealand Gardens Trust in garden assessing. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.
  • Turning your garden treasure into gold Jack Hobbs and Aleysha Pangari share their experiences in marketing the Auckland Botanic Gardens. Presented at the New Zealand Gardens Trust Going for Gold Conference, in May 2005.

    • Obituary Neiel Drain provides a fitting tribute of the life of John Osborne Taylor, MBE.
    • Book Reviews A selection of the best and most interesting book reviews of 2004. Part 2 of 2.


Front Cover: Magnificent anthuriums, which can now be found gracing supermarkets as well as florists' shops. These wonderful plants, in the genus Anthurium, have recently been the focus of research on flower colour carried out by Vern Collette. The cultivar names are (top row from the left) ‘Lido’, ‘Acropolis’, ‘Atlanta’, and ‘Panther’; (bottom row from the left) ‘Altar’, ‘Montana’ (an A. amnicola hybrid), ‘Butterfly’, and ‘Meadow’; (centre) A. amnicola. Front Cover: Pittosporum kirkii. Courtesy Philip Smith.
Volume 7, Number 1, June 2004
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Volume 7, Number 2, December 2004
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Three talks presented at the inaugural seminar of the New Zealand Gardens Trust, Managing, Marketing and Promoting your Garden, Pukeiti Gardens, 23–25 April 2004

  • 2004 RNZIH Awards


Front Cover: A happy arrangement of variously shaped Lagenaria siceraria gourds grown by Jenny Quilliam at Otaki courtesy of a photograph supplied by Mike Burtenshaw. Front Cover: Nelson's Trafalgar Street, a shopping precinct street much admired by locals and visitors alike. Reproduced with thanks, courtesy of the Nelson Mail.
Volume 6, Number 1, June 2003
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Volume 6, Number 2, December 2003
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Front Cover: Clianthus maximus caught in full bloom by Jason Song, who is currently working towards his PhD at Massey University as part of the Native Ornamentals Plants Programme funded through Crop & Food Research. Front Cover: Ranunculus buchananii in the alpine zone, in full bloom in January. Image courtesy Peter Lockhart, Principal Investigator with the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution, and Associate Professor in the Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University.
Volume 5, Number 1, June 2002
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Volume 5, Number 2, December 2002
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100 years of horticultural history:
The RNZIH journal and newsletter archive

In 2023, the Lottery Environment and Heritage Committee funded digitisation of our historic journals, bulletins, newsletters, and other publications.

The project ‘100 years of horticultural history’ involved scanning and uploading more than 11,500 pages from 200+ publications produced from 1925 to 2005. Work was completed as part of the RNZIH centenary celebrations.

Journal Archive