GOLOCAL

Two families that have been doing business together since 1947 have a blooming new initiative to celebrate.

Rose-breeding business Matthews Roses was established by Tom Matthews and is now owned by his son Bob, while Chris Cvitanovich is the third-generation owner of Wanganui Garden Centre, set up by his grandfather Ivan. The two businesses have been working together since 1947 and had a joint celebration for their 70th anniversaries in 2017.

Now, as part of his "My Rose Collection" range, Bob Matthews has bred a new rose exclusively for Wanganui Garden Centre to celebrate their long association of growing gorgeous gardens together.

The rose is named A Gardener's Dream (Mattrae) in tribute to Chris' mother, the late Rae Cvitanovich.

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"I remember coming in here [Wanganui Garden Centre] as a kid, watching Chris' mum and dad doing jobs - and his grandfather too," Matthews said.

"Breeding roses is a labour of love. I've been doing it since I was a kid. An individual variety could take six to 10 years to breed. Out of every 1000 seedlings, you might only pick 10 to look at - and you might throw all those away."

Matthews Roses are bred spray-free and rarely get disease, he said.

Bob Matthews (left) and Chris Cvitanovich with A Gardener's Dream (Mattrae) at Matthews Nurseries. Photo / Samantha Matthews
Bob Matthews (left) and Chris Cvitanovich with A Gardener's Dream (Mattrae) at Matthews Nurseries. Photo / Samantha Matthews

The new rose is bred from My Mum, one of Matthews Roses' most popular varieties and a top seller at Wanganui Garden Centre. Matthews named it after his mother, Pearl.

"It's very successful - we sell mega of it," Cvitanovich said.

"It's the most in-demand bush rose we've ever sold. Last year we sold 100 of it. It's very healthy, strong growing - it ticks all the boxes."

Cvitanovich is delighted to have A Gardener's Dream (Mattrae) to sell exclusively.

"It's good to have something to put my mother's name out there," he said.

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The rose is described as "charming clusters of fragrant apricot blooms with vintage ruffle form. An easy-care plant, this multiple flowering beauty lives up to its name in every way, making it a gardener's dream".

The rose will be released nationwide next year to Matthews Roses' other stockists.