Monday, 2 December 2013


Way down at the bottom of the South Island lies Invercargill, and the beautiful Jessie Calder Rose Garden. It lies within the Queens Park public gardens and was the result of a bequest from Jessie Watson Calder who left a substantial amount of money specifically for the creation of a heritage rose garden. It is one of the most comprehensive collections of heritage roses on public display in New Zealand and in 2005 was declared a garden of national significance.

I was greeted by Brett who is the Rosarian for the garden, and he very kindly showed me round. It was here that the fungal problem of 'silver leaf' was brought to my attention. This is a fungal disease that causes the tissue of the leaves to separate and thus produce a silvery sheen, ultimately the stem will die. I will admit that it's not a problem that I knew much about, however my knowledge on the subject has increased over the past few weeks as it seems to be quite a problem in the South Island.

As you might expect the roses were not flowing so heavily as up in Auckland or even in central Otago but the garden looked terrific none the less. I also have to say that mosses and bourbon varieties grow much better in this part of the country, which appeals to me as I'm most definitely a sucker for a good bourbon.

The Spinosissima and Pimpinellifolia roses were looking great too! 


  1. Hello Jonny
    Invercargill is a garden previously unknown to me. It looked really interesting and appears to be immaculately presented. It is obviously tended with a lot of pride. We have experienced the "silver leaf" problem at Motti in the past. If I remember correctly, it affected a planting of 'Complicata' and the Bourbon
    'Mme Isaac Periere'. All the affected plants were dug out and burned. In the UK, the disease is very prevalent among Plum trees, and, at the time, there were some old wall trained plums still growing at Mottisfont. (These were also dug out and burned) It's really good to be able to follow your progress, so please keep up the blog!!

  2. Thanks Boss, I will keep updating regularly.

    I'd like to chat about silver leaf when I get back as the Mottisfont issue was before my time.