Is it in the genes?

I’m not talking rose genetics here, but human…My life has been pretty well made up of horses and gardens. I grew up in the suburbs with parents not too interested in animals, but both heavily into gardening. However, both my grandfathers were horse mad.

My French grandfather, a pioneer in the Australian wheatbelt, adored all his horses…after his team of Clydesdales was made defunct by a tractor, he insisted on keeping them all till they died (actually he died first and his heartless son sent them off…) despite the fact that they had to be fed grain and hay and taken daily to the water hole for a drink (no grass available in Wyalkatchem! )He also kept a racehorse (Sombre Vol) who was raced at the local meets.

My paternal Grandfather, Sam Hamilton, kept Trotters on his dairy farm in the Waerenga Valley. In 1910 he set off on foot, leading his latest prospect Floranz , with the sulky on behind , from the Waikato, up over the Bombays and on to Auckland. He drove his horse in the Auckland Trotting Cup (now the NZ Pacing Cup) and won! Story goes he won a hundred pounds and a silver service. Story goes he stayed in Auckland celebrating till the hundred pounds was gone, then walked back home with the silver service.

So there you have it…the genes jumped a generation and all 3 of the ” Hamilton girls” have been into horses all their lives!

So when I produced a daughter I dreamed of her being a rider and one day riding the horses I had been breeding for some years.

Mission accomplished some years ago. She has been riding “Weiti” horses on the show jumping circuit since her early teens. But recently her tastes have changed somewhat and horses have become her work rather than her passion. Her passion has become …GARDENING!!! And sadly, just as she has been a way better rider than I ever was, her garden now makes mine look like the very poor cousin.


Whilst my garden is just a hodge podge of roses and plants , hers is small but perfectly formed. She has the eye of an artist, which I severely lack. Luckily I like hodge podges and am happy in my own mess!

Anyway, this has been a very silly blog and not about roses at all…the story on the roses is they are about to be splendid and I think they’re going to be very splendid this year, judging by the early ones. The Banksias started recordly early in  winter and are still going strong! All the other early species are at it and the first garden roses are showing colour in their plump buds.