Whanganui woman Yvonne Joyce (Vonnie) Cave was known for her achievements in horticulture and photography, her world travels and the determination and focus she put into everything she did.
She died on June 2, aged 93, and was driving and gardening up until a few months before.
She was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) in 2009, for services to photography and horticulture.
Vonnie published books on camellias and succulents, and her photographs were used in other books.
The continued existence of a Montgomery Reserve without houses is partly down to her, and in her early life she was a dead shot with a rifle.
Friend Beverley Sinclair said Vonnie was a wonderful all-round Whanganui citizen.
"She aimed really high in everything that she did, not for glory but just for her own satisfaction. She was proud of her achievement but she didn't tell you about it."
Vonnie participated fully in every group she joined. She spent hours gardening and propagating plants for the Bason Botanic Gardens.
Fellow camellia society member Brian Rhodes agreed that Vonnie was a stalwart. She was a strong woman with definite views, he said.
She was also a proud and supportive mum, son Bruce said - without being overly emotional. She has been described as "a man's woman", was possibly a tomboy and had many outdoor interests.
Her parents were Roy and Hazel Anderson, who had a farm on Western Line. Vonnie was an only child, self reliant and happy in her own company.
She walked the 2km to Brunswick School, and later cycled daily to Whanganui Girl's College. She played tennis and golf, did highland dancing and took up rifle shooting - all at competition level.
In 1939 the family's house was destroyed by fire, and they started growing and selling cut flowers to supplement their income.
"There is no doubt this is where her love of gardening started," Bruce said.
Vonnie wanted to study botany at university. Instead she had to leave school at 16 to help on the farm, but she kept up her other interests.
She met Henry (Harry) Cave, then captain of the New Zealand cricket team, through shooting at the Westmere Club. They married in 1951 and lived in a farmhouse on Seafield Rd.
The two began a garden together. It eventually stretched to 0.8ha and many camellias. It became famous, and was visited by groups and individuals.
Their sons Peter and Bruce were born in 1952 and 1954.
The Caves joined the Whanganui branch of the national camellia society. Their camellias won awards and each had a variety named after them.
Vonnie had been a national shooting champion. When she stopped shooting guns and playing golf she turned to another kind of shooting, with a camera. This was in the days when black and white negatives were developed and enlarged, and she joined the Wanganui Camera Club.
She wrote books about camellias and succulents, and was a member of the Whanganui Museum Botanical Group. She took leading roles in both local and national photography and camellia groups.
She and Harry got interested in the plants of Western Australia, and she led 19 trips to see them.
Harry died in 1989, aged just 66, and Vonnie carried on with her passions.
She painted in watercolour, and gave slide shows with photographs of her travels to China, Chile, Australia, the United States, Antarctica and the Falklands and Chatham Islands.
She tended her Seafield Rd garden every day, helped by Ian Brider.
She had been involved with the Bason Botanic Gardens since Stanley Bason donated the land in 1965. She and a group of volunteers gardened there monthly.
She resigned her role as its patron in 2014, because she disagreed with ideas for its development. In that year she also campaigned to keep the Montgomery Reserve, which she had cycled past every day on the way to school, free of subdivision.