Helen Guthrie from Waikanae has been awarded a Queen's Service Medal for services to music and horticulture.

While a slightly unusual mix Ms Guthrie has been honoured for her services in both chamber music and gardening.

"I feel very humbled.

"I was presented with a Kāpiti Civic Award three years ago and I thought that was good enough.


"To get this as well is just wonderful."

Ms Guthrie was Chamber Music Wellington's concert manager for a number of years and has been a member of the Waikanae Music Society committee since 1984.

After 25 years as president Ms Guthrie is currently treasurer and membership secretary of the society.

She has been a representative on the Chamber Music New Zealand Board and is a life member of Chamber Music New Zealand.

She played a key role in purchasing the Fazioli piano in 2011, which has allowed the Waikanae Music Society to attract internationally acclaimed pianists, and was a founding member and chair of the society's charitable trust for young musicians.

Supporting younger musicians is something that Ms Guthrie has especially enjoyed with many of the musicians now returning as professionals.

"We give scholarships out through the trust and now they are starting to come back as players, which is lovely for us.

"We gave them a little bit of money to help with their study and now they are coming back as professionals."


Ms Guthrie has also been president and branch secretary of the New Zealand Camellia Society for 14 years organising, judging and competing at shows around the country.

Moving to Kāpiti in 1983 Ms Guthrie has been a member of the New Zealand Rose Society since 1984, and was president of the Kāpiti Rose Society.

"Once you get up here [Kāpiti] you realise what gardening is all about.

"We lived in Te Horo for 18 years and that's when it really started.

"I planted about 450 roses, 150 rhododendrons and camellias and used to open up the garden to the public once a year.

"We had garden clubs and bus tours through, and then I started a business producing essential oils out of natural products and petals from the roses."

When asked what keeps her going Ms Guthrie said "I just like doing things.

"One of these days I'll slow down I suppose, but not yet."

Ms Guthrie has been a national judge of roses for 25 years, is still on the judging panel at the Trial Grounds in Palmerston North and just last year proved having a small garden is no limitation after winning best bloom with a small bloom from her garden at the retirement village she lives at.

"I haven't got much garden anymore but I did win the best bloom in the show with a little, little bloom."

Seeing her father receive a Queen's Birthday award for services to broadcasting and having played at investiture ceremonies as a musician in the past Ms Guthrie will now be receiving her own award.