Wakkerstroom’s Open Gardens and Rose Show

      Wakkerstroom’s Open Gardens and Rose Show

      The 10th and 11th November saw Wakkerstroom’s second Open Garden and Rose Show event.  There was a festive atmosphere in town on Saturday 10th with the “Market at the Corner” which was held at The Garret and the Red Building and flowed into the pretty garden of the new Thyme Out restaurant.

      The event was advertised in the “Open Gardens” magazine, the November “Country Life” and through various rose societies, via their newsletters and databases.  Tickets were sold at two outlets in Wakkerstroom. There was a draw for a small hamper, and the winner was Billy Hare.  His prize was a Fruity Cherry Genoa Cake, a bottle of Limoncello and a fun Christmas decoration.

      Twelve gardens participated this year and were all affected by the unusually low rainfall so far this season.  There was a bout of frost about ten days before the event which also severely affected roses.  Despite those challenges, the gardens were beautiful and each one has it’s on appeal and charm.  The Rose society ladies particularly like The Bistro garden with their beautiful rambling and climbing roses, and the improvements at Runnymede Iris Farm gardens.  Highly commended gardens included:  Owl House, Cawthorne House, Dan Strydom’s garden, No. 1 Kana and Wetlands Country House and Sheds. Prizes were awarded to: Cawthorne House and Owl House.

      A talk on “mindful gardening” was held at the Bioscope.  The presenter thoroughly enjoyed the audience participation and stall holders at the market noticed a spike in business after the talk.

      Artist Ina Millman had some beautiful paintings on sale at the Rose Show

      There was a lovely atmosphere and scent at the Rose Show which was held at Runnymede Iris Farm.  There were thirteen entrants, with 80 rose entries.  The senior judge was Sheenagh Harris, who was assisted by Gill Wilson and Gail Birss of the Midlands Rose Society.  Vivienne Black of the Gold Reef Rose Society assisted the judging team.

      Judges – Left to right:  Vivienne Black; Gill Wilson, Sheenagh Harris, Gail Birss

      Two more ladies from the Gold Reef Rose Society attended the event. They were Barbara Wood and Amanda Renwick. Their support was greatly appreciated and very encouraging.

      Sheenagh, Gail and Gill were very constructive in their judging and criticism and left some comments where they noticed some improvements could be made and thus encourage entrants on how to improve their entries.

      Prizes this year were:  third prize – strawberry and rose petal jam from Ludwigs’ Roses; second prize – beautiful 2019 Rose Calendars by Otterly Press, and the first prize was the “Peace” Rose.  Rosettes were also awarded, but these will be “floating” prizes, so as to save costs in the future.

      The “Peace” rose was launched in April 1945 after the Second World War.  Its history involves drama, love and greatness of spirit.  It is the world’s most popular rose, and over 150 million plants have been sold since its introduction.  The bush produces round, slightly pointed buds with cream, yellow and carmine petals unfolding into massive blooms.  It is a vigorous bush, bearing healthy, glossy foliage.  It is one of the most loved roses and no garden should be without one.

      Some of the winning rose names included: Red Intuition; Granada; Intense; St John’s College, Just Joey, Duftwolke and Sharifa Asma.  Do look these roses up on the internet; you will be amazed by their beauty!

      • The 2nd Princess prize was won by the NG Kerk, entered by Carla Muller, with the “Peace” rose;
      • 1st Princess was won by Tharina Greyling, with “Satchmo”, and
      • Queen of the show was also won by Tharina Greyling with “Ingrid Bergman”.
      • Some of the other winners were Lorna Joubert with “Flamingo” and Jane Harley with “Crimson Glory”.

      The organisers are thinking about holding the event at a different time of the year in future and hope to encourage gardeners to hold an open week-end on a yearly basis.  A talk on gardening matters and roses is being planned, and that will be communicated via the Recorder and social media in and around Wakkerstroom.

      We wish to thank all who assisted with the event, Jane Harley for artwork and design; Graham Spencer, Carla Muller, Sue Picken, for setting up, Margie Stoole for beautiful rose arrangements, Norman Dennett for photographs, and Graham Spencer, Peter Naylor and Tilda van den Berg for selling tickets.

      We’d like to extend a big “Thank You” to our sponsors:  Wetlands Country House and Sheds, for accommodating the judges; Runnymede Iris Farm, for the lovely venue for the rose show; BirdLife South Africa – Wakkerstroom branch; The Bioscope – as the talk venue, and generous restaurateurs who sponsored food voucher prizes: The Bistro, The Garret, Grasslands Cottage; the Red Rooster and Thyme Out.

      More photographs of the event can be seen on Facebook pages:  “Wakkerstroom – what’s on”, “Grasslands Cottage” and “Midlands Rose Society”.