Te Awamutu roses fit for royalty

ELTON SMALLMAN
Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014
Max Ward, royal roses
Bruce Mercer/Fairfax NZ

ROYAL ROSE: Waipa parks team leader Max Ward shows the quality of a rose fit for royalty.

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The selection process is rigorous and when it comes to a rose fit for royalty, only the best of Te Awamutu's best will do.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will each lay a single red rose at the Cambridge cenotaph on their tour of Waikato and approval has been given for the locally grown "queen of flowers" to grace the hands of nobility.

The roses will be freshly cut at the Rosetown rose garden on the morning of Prince William and Catherine's arrival, just after the delicate petals unfold to show their quality.

Waipa District Council parks team leader Max Ward said the town was chuffed to do the honours.

"We're pretty pleased that we can provide that for the cause and they come from Te Awamutu," he said.

"Te Awamutu is pretty proud of the rose garden."

Established in 1969, the garden is a treasure with more than 2500 bushes and 50 rose varieties, and attracts thousands of visitors to the town each year.

The rose had already been selected and will be cut from a bed full of rich, red hybrid teas roses called "Loving Memory".

"We're using that one because it is a nice, deep red and the instruction was for a red rose.

"We'll give them six - six long-stemmed red roses was the order," Ward said.

Blooms from the previous day will have wilted and a careful selection process will be conducted by Te Awamutu's 30-year veteran rose gardener, John Maxted, to find the most splendid flower.

"He is very passionate about his gardens."

Waipa council made the request to supply the blossoms and didn't have to go too far for the perfect specimen.

They found out about the roses only a week ago but with a garden in full bloom and plenty of flushes, thanks to a sterling season, the stock was bountiful.

"The roses are still budding up, so on the day, he will just pick the best - ones that are just about to open. We still think we've put on one of the best rose garden displays in the country."

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will tour Waikato this Saturday, April 12, with separate visits firstly to Pacific Aerospace and Hospice Waikato in Hamilton.

The royal couple then make a public outing in Cambridge and will attend the opening of the Home of Cycling's Avantidrome. 

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- Waikato Times

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