I grew up a horse-riding farm girl who studied at Waikato University, graduating with a Master of Science. I then spent 20 years as a business manager selling microscopes across New Zealand.
I also grew up surrounded by family who love gardening. When I was young my grandparents had an amazing garden and everyone who visited had to walk around it. They bred camellias, competed at camellia shows, (both here and overseas), and attended international camellia conferences.
Importantly, each of the grandchildren had to know the three main varieties of camellias when asked. I think I was the only one who ever remembered, and I can still name them although, ironically, I don’t grow a single camellia in my own garden.
Over time, my husband and I have created our own garden and I have developed a large picking garden. For years I would pick flowers and create bouquets to give away to whoever I might see that day – I have always loved the joy a gift of flowers brings to friends and family.
A beautiful rainbow above Mel's Native Garden
In 2017 we bought the Karaka Country Market, renaming it Paddock to Pantry. My microscope work was slowly phased out and a new stage of life began.
We began offering small floral and gifting ideas at Paddock to Pantry. Then when we were offered another store location we decided to expand our floral and gift offering. It was there in Takanini that The Wild Rose was born 18 months ago.
This new venture gave me additional reasons to grow more flowers and any spare time I have is spent outside planting, picking and planning where I can squeeze in more.
As I write, the summer flowers are finishing and I have some 300 ranunculus and anemone bulbs waiting to be planted (about 200 already planted). I am also waiting for the courier to deliver another 200 or so daffodil and anemone bulbs in addition to those already in the ground.
Over the coming months I look forward to sharing with readers the joy of growing, picking and giving flowers plus a whole lot more. In the meantime, I hope all the amazing mums out there had a fantastic Mother’s Day and that flowers were part of the day.