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.
"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.
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.
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.