Roses undoubtedly possess a certain charm and that was certainly the thinking of the late Rosarian Nancy Steen. A lover of the old rose, Nancy devoted her life to the study and cultivation of the plant. Her book 'The Charm of Old Roses', although out of print, often pops up at second hand book stores and is referenced in The Virago Book of Women Gardeners. Nancy's life's work is honoured at the Parnell Rose Garden in Auckland. A fitting tribute, the garden is home to 5,000 rose bushes, each one diligently cared for by a team of volunteer gardeners.
Visit between October and April when the roses are in full bloom. See the old and new roses mingle with heritage blooms. The pinks, reds and oranges clashing at every perfectly edged border and the heady perfumes exploding before your nose. It is most definitely a feast for the senses.
Open to the public 7 days a week, this beautiful labour of love is a riotous celebration of the rose. The perfect spot to take a romantic stroll, or enjoy the wonderful fragrance of the blooms during a moonlit picnic - after all the garden is open 24 hours a day.
Photographs taken by Neeve Woodward on a balmy Summer evening in February.