Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Renowned lover of roses and author dies - Trevor Griffiths

South Canterbury has lost one of its most respected and well-known residents. World-renowned rosarian Trevor Griffiths died 21st February 2010 after a long illness.

Such was his knowledge of roses that the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden at Caroline Bay was opened in 2001, and he was a New Zealand and international identity. He wrote eight books on roses and worked as a nurseryman until his retirement.

Mr Griffiths, 83, also had a rose named after him by distinguished English rosarian David Austin who described Mr Griffiths as a pioneering nurseryman.

His son Bevan said he was a modest man whose passion in life was roses. "Roses have been his life, they were the love of his life.
"He was always very humble about his achievements."

Former mayoress Nan Raymond, who was instrumental in establishing the Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden when she was president of the Timaru Beautifying Society, said South Canterbury had lost one of its most influential people.
"Rose lovers all over the world will be sad to hear of Trevor's death."
"The people of South Canterbury were fortunate to have Trevor and his roses in their midst."
"His life's work will live on for decades to come."

South Canterbury Rose Society secretary John Jackson said Mr Griffiths would be a sad loss, and he would always remember Mr Griffiths for his passion, dedication and willingness to pass on his knowledge. The Trevor Griffiths Rose Garden was designed by Sir Miles Warren and today boasts more than 1200 roses. It has a rose from every rose family in the world.

Mr Griffiths' collection of genuine old roses was once the third biggest in the world. It is from this collection, plus 600 modern roses from David Austin, that the Bay garden evolved.

Mr Griffiths also contributed to The Herald's Past Times pages, reminiscing about Timaru in days gone by.