Monday 14 November 2011

Roses - Nancy Steen garden and Laura Ashley

A couple of weekends ago was the Parnell Rose Festival at the Dove Myer Robins Park, unfortunately the sun decided to hide it's face and it was wet and miserable. I stayed home telling myself I would pop up there at the first chance of the sun appearing to take some shots before the first flush of roses began to wither and last Monday was the perfect chance, a glorious day!

I'm a great believer in being in the right place at the right time and meeting people for a purpose.  Within the Rose Gardens is a smaller garden called "Nancy Steen", while wandering through this garden I was approached by a lovely woman called Sarah who was delicately attending to her job of  deadheading the first flush of roses. Sarah informed me that Nancy Steen was actually her grandmother and the Nancy Steen gardens had been dedicated to her grandmother by Mrs Toni Silvester who originally formed "Heritage Roses" in 1980 with the late Mr Ken Nobbs.  

Nancy adored old fashioned roses, they were her passion and her own garden was a dedication to this love.  Albertine, Cecile Brunner (known as the button hole rose), Madame Alfred Carriere, the list goes on, truly heritage roses. Nancy even went to the trouble of importing some of the roses for her garden that weren't available in NZ at that time.  Nancy went on to publish her book, "The Charm of Old Roses" and Sarah informed me she also enjoyed painting Roses.  We even have a Rose in New Zealand dedicated to Nancy, appropriately named the Nancy Steen Rose, as seen below.

Thank you Susan for allowing me to use this photograph - Just our Pictures  (A site full of rose photography)

The Nancy Steen Rose garden has been lovingly maintained by a group of volunteers including Sarah, for the past 30 years. Below are some photos I took while visiting the garden this week, I have also sourced some gorgeous floral items from Laura Ashley's new range to appropriately tie in with floral theme of today.

Not a Rose, however I love the light peeking through in this shot and the pretty Queen Anne's lace below.

When we hear the words "Laura Ashley," we think romance and envision little floral prints in soft pinks and baby blues, Laura Ashley started her business designing floral prints on her kitchen table inspired by English gardens and soon her little home business grew quickly into a worldwide trend which is as popular today as ever.  Laura Ashley's designs today are not only traditional, they also include contemporary fashion and beautiful homeware and as always the brand is defined by quality.

I visited Laura Ashley's shop in Newmarket a few weeks ago which has a great range of their fashion and homeware. I love the layout of the shop, especially the colour blocking. Duck egg blue, Amethyst, Beige, gold and Grey are just some of the choice of colours available in their homeware.  Cushions, throws, accessories and gorgeous fashion is what Laura Ashley is about today and the quality and choice of  products is excellent.  With the current trend for floral both in fashion and the home, I am sharing some of Laura Ashley's new and archive designs available this season.

Garden Rose Quilt set - Queen size NZ$489.00, King size - NZ$529.00

Rose T Shirt - NZ$49.00

Dress - NZ$249

Floral cardigan - NZ$169.00

Gorgeous embroidered cushions from NZ$199.00 (currently there is a sale on in Newmarket and the cushion with lavender embroidery is on sale for NZ$59.00 and available in other colours)

A link to Laura Ashley's Australasian website is "here", although purchase on line within New Zealand is not yet available.

UK website is "here" 

This beautiful photo was taken by Robin Stubbert a fabulous photographer who has kindly allowed me to share her work on LCA. Copyright is owned by Robin.

Treat yourself to a bunch of Roses to display in your home, they will always bring a smile to your face
Lee xox


  1. I can imagine sweet smell of roses right now, how wonderful. And I love Laura Ashley:)

  2. Lovely pictures and a very nice blog.

    Regards from Sweden

  3. Thank you for your kind words.


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