May 25, 2020

Another Kiwi Hunts Down Plants for Garden Maine

Pamela Rogers Photo | Kapiti Island taken from Nikau Reserve on the Kapiti Coast

Pamela Rogers Photo | Kapiti Island taken from Nikau Reserve on the Kapiti Coast

• By Janine Pineo •

People never cease to amaze me, but I find the wholehearted enthusiasm of a pair of Kiwis to be sublime.

First, I met the lovely Anna Paton on a social media site where we were enjoying all things in Hobbitdom. She graciously went out and shot a boatload of pictures in Auckland on the North Island. You can read about Anna here and how it all came about here.

Then I came across Pamela Rogers in the same vicinity on the World Wide Web. She, too, is a Kiwi and read some of the features on New Zealand treasures I was featuring in The Daily Plant. (Click here for the ever-growing list.) She complimented the series and then asked a fateful question, fateful if you know me at all.

Pamela asked if I had seen a particular plant, which will be featured on Dec. 14, “The Big Day,” aka the North American release of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”

I said Anna had a couple of shots, but we were waiting for the blossoming (yeah, folks it is that spectacular). So Pamela moseyed out to photograph one in bloom near where she lives on the North Island, about 30 miles north of Wellington.

Then she asked if I had the nikau palm, another wonderful plant that is part of the storied New Zealand landscape.

Why, no, I said. I didn’t think so.

So out went Pamela to the Nikau Reserve – yes, there is such a place – and shot a series of photos to showcase this unique entity.

I decided that for Dec. 6, I would feature the nikau on U.S. premiere day for the movie, simply because it is such an incredible plant to behold. You can read about the nikau in The Daily Plant here.

“These were taken in the town of Paraparaumu, which is a coastal town 50 kilometers north of Wellington city. And it’s where I live. The town is part of a number of towns – Paekakariki, Raumati South, Raumati Beach, Paraparaumu , Waikanae and Otaki – which make up an area called the Kapiti Coast,” Pamela writes. “I’ve included a photo of Kapiti Island which lies just offshore, taken from Nikau Reserve where all the nikau pictures were taken  – mainly to show you how close we are to the sea.”

As for who Pamela is, I’ll let her tell us.

“Born and bred in New Zealand – with some pitstops in London and New York along the way,” she wrote. “When I am not taking photos of NZ native plants, I’m self-employed as a business writer for hire – usually for government agencies.

“Came out to the Kapiti Coast almost 10 years,” she continues, “previously having lived in Wellington city as an apartment dweller. Now with a garden again, I like putting in mainly native plants, though can’t resist a bit of annual colour here and there (so bulbs go in for spring!). Living in a coastal region though, where the strong prevailing winds bring in salt-laden winds, you soon find out that a pretty rose garden is not the way to go, native and Australian plants doing much better.”

I suspect we have enough coastal people in Maine to feel Pamela’s pain for the difficulties encountered near the sea.

So a huge thank you to Pamela for tramping around the New Zealand countryside to bring us interesting plants from half a world away in the Southern Hemisphere.