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Gardening From New Zealand

...Dowdeswell is Back!
by Terry Dowdeswell
by Terry Dowdeswell


Terry Dowdeswell is the owner of Dowdeswell's Delphiniums in Wanganui New Zealand.

Be sure to visit his site at

November 17, 2002

I’d like to plead pressure of work for not contributing an article for something like two years – but I won't and no-one would believe me anyway. Other interests have been clamouring for time and attention. Even tramping has had to join the queue – no, mountain of pursuits to be shelved to make way for new projects, imperatives and the inevitable necessities and joys of establishing our home and business in a new (to us) part of the New Zealand.

Janice and I were well prepared for almost all of the changes that life in Wanganui has brought. The climate is a little cooler than our previous location in Auckland – that was a major reason for shifting. Looking out from our breakfast table at a view, and a darned interesting and beautiful one at that, was a major contrast but again, well foreshadowed. Being just ten minutes away from the centre of a small and beautiful provincial city was a known too, as was the slower pace of life down here. The latter, though expected, proved a little difficult at first until we got to know the plumber, the builder, the electrician, the butcher, baker candlestick maker etc. The local population numbers some 40,000 souls and by the end of the first year we were getting to know a fair number of them.

Now, if New Zealand is just about the most friendly little corner of this planet, and many, many visitors tell us that this is so, then Wanganui must surely be about the friendliest place in New Zealand. And there’s the rub. Janice and I had always been rather self contained and tended not to socialise a great deal. Oh boy, not in Wanganui. You simply can’t avoid it.

The city is exactly the right size – plenty of amenities, supplies, services and entrainments yet small enough that you are forever bumping into people you know. Not only that, Wanganui is something of a centre for the arts and sports, and has the educational facilities to encourage and enhance this. So, I now belong to the Wanganui Photography Club (initially for business reasons but lately for fun), take lessons in Spanish and “Indian” cooking, enjoy encouraging Janice in her artistic quilting, general design work and computing, write the weekly bulletin for, and belong to a seriously off the wall, atypical, useful and thoroughly enjoyable Daybreak Rotary Club. Oh, and the delphinium pollinating season is just about to begin too and yes, we did enjoy the three hour Whanganui River evening jazz cruise on the paddle steamer “Waimarie” last weekend.

Link for Whanganui river images and pictures of the P.S.Waimarie see

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row