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For many years the Taranaki Cathedral's gardens – and the beds behind the Peace Hall as well – have been carefully tended by the volunteer Taranaki Cathedral Gardening Group.
The leader, Sally Masson, said the long-established group meets from 9am on the first and third Wednesdays of every month. It is made up of people who love gardening and enjoy the cathedral grounds, in company with staff and visitors.
“Do we need more members? Yes please!” said Sally. “Anybody is welcome to spend up to three hours on Wednesdays maintaining the gardens but also enjoying a cup of tea with the group and chatting – it's a social occasion as well.
“You don't have to work all the time, and you don't have to stay the full three hours; just come when it suits you, and when it fits in with your commitments.”
Another member, Patricia Gall, said maintaining all the gardens was a huge job but a very pleasant one, and the group members were very friendly. Recently the group bought and planted eight new rose bushes in the cathedral grounds.
The rich velvety red floribunda blooms are a new variety named “Lest We Forget,” which was developed by Bob Matthews Nurseries to commemorate the centenary of World War I.
Two bushes have been planted in front of the large blue sign at the vehicle entry, and one by the lower door to the cathedral office. The remaining five are planted in the shape of a cross amid a group of graves above the churchyard pathway.
The purchase of these roses was made possible by a generous donation from the Stop-In opportunity shop.