Sunshine and socialising for 'dead-headers'

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 05:00 16/01/2014
rose garden
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ

COMING UP ROSY: Many hands make light work for the "dead-headers" volunteering in the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden at Caroline Bay.

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It's all fun, friends and flowers for a group of garden-loving volunteers.

Every Wednesday during the summer season, the "dead-headers" meet at the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden on Caroline Bay to dead-head the roses and have a coffee afterwards.

Group organiser Francis Gillespie said they started dead-heading when the roses were first planted in 2000, when the garden still belonged to the Beautifying Society.

When the Timaru District Council took over care of the garden in 2001, the "dead-headers" asked if they could continue their work.

They work from nine in the morning for two hours. Mrs Gillespie said they have clocked up over 4000 hours of work since they first started. "We really enjoy doing it, it's good volunteer work. We've done other things for our families, so it's nice to do something for ourselves."

The group has 25 members, some over 80, with a lot of members formerly having big gardens of their own.

Mrs Gillespie said they have become such good friends, they even meet for coffee once a month during the off season. "They are a very enthusiastic bunch. Some get there long before [we start at] 9 o'clock."

The Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden is one of 42 gardens worldwide to be recognised with international significants. Because of its significance, Mrs Gillespie said it was important to keep the garden up to scratch and looking nice.

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- The Timaru Herald

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