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Rose Thodey image.jpg
Rose Thodey

Rose was made an esteemed Life Member of the GDSNZ at the AGM on the 18th June 2019.
This award recognises the huge contribution Rose has made to the Garden Design Society of
NZ over a sustained period of time and also to the wider landscape and horticultural
industries of New Zealand.

Her career spans many facets including plants woman, keen gardener, garden design judge,
garden writer, author, editor and organiser extraordinaire.

Rose told us at the GDS Christmas party 2018 that the Society saved her at the time after
her husband’s death, providing support and an outlet to pour her energy into. The Society
recognises and appreciates the huge amount of energy and life Rose contributed in return!
It was with real pleasure that the Society members awarded Rose an esteemed Life
Member of the GDSNZ.

Rose grew up on a farm in Taihape, and learned about gardens from her enthusiastic
mother. She went on to attend Victoria University gaining a BA in English language,
literature & philosophy. Rose & her family moved from Wellington to Auckland in 1986.

Rose’s career includes research, writing & editing. She has been a garden writer for over 20
years – writing regular articles for the NZ Herald and NZ Gardener magazine. In 2008 she
was appointed the Garden Editor at NZ House & Garden magazine. For five years Rose was
part of the judging panel at the Ellerslie Flower Show.

As an author, she wrote ‘Introduction to Garden Design’, co-authored with Alan Sinclair,
and then ‘Gardening with Old Roses’ & Floronova with Australian photographer Warwick

Collaborating with well-known NZ photographer Gil Hanly, she wrote ‘Landscape: Gardens
by NZ’s top Designers’ and ‘The Artful Gardener’.

Rose believes that atmosphere is the quality that defines a successful garden. This is amply
demonstrated in her own beautiful garden in Freeman’s Bay. Developed over the past thirty
years, with design input from Lucy Treep, it has on occasion been open to the public.
Rose has been a leading light in the GDSNZ for many years. She served as Chairperson of the
National Committee of the GDSNZ for two years 2011-2013.

After organising several trips for GDSNZ members to the Melbourne Garden Designfest, she
was inspired to initiate the Auckland Garden DesignFest - a joint venture with Rotary Club of

Newmarket to raise the profile of local garden designers & raise money for charity. She chaired

the organising committee for the hugely successful event for 7 years from June 2011 to May 2018.

In November 2018, Rose took on a new challenge as an garden assessor for the NZ Gardens Trust.

Her contribution to raising the profile of garden design in NZ has been invaluable and this
award is very much deserved.

We are very grateful to Rose for her huge contribution to the Society over many years and
we hope that Rose will remain an active participating member of the Society for many years
to come.

Past Chairperson National Committee
Garden Design Society of New Zealand (GDSNZ)
June 2011 – June 2013 - 2 years
Initiator/Former Joint Chairperson
Auckland Garden DesignFest
June 2011 – May 2018 - 7 years

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