Green-thumbed Peter’s achievements grow

Peter Lawrence. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Peter Lawrence. Photo: Geoff Sloan
It isn’t cheap to maintain an award-winning garden each year, particularly in Christchurch, a city teeming with fierce and passionate competitors.

But Northwood's Peter Lawrence is no stranger to the Christchurch Beautifying Association summer garden competition and has worked what felt like “25 hours a day” maintaining his $10,000 garden.

Many hours and early mornings paid off when he took out 11 awards at the annual competition this year.

Regarded as one of the city’s best gardeners, it was not his first win – he even has a trophy named after him for the rest home and retirement village category and has claimed nearly 100 awards since he started competing in 1974.

But taking home the premier garden award this year, or the Ruske Cup, was an achievement he was most proud of.

Said Lawrence: “It’s overwhelming really, there are some lovely gardens out there. Hopefully, it brings some pleasure to other people by looking at it.

“The premier is the ultimate award really, so it felt good to get [it].”

This year alone he planted 7500 plants, including marigolds, petunias and begonias. His backyard oasis also features a glass-like water fountain, sculptures and a perfectly-trimmed lawn.

Peter Lawrence's award-winning garden. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Peter Lawrence's award-winning garden. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Lots of bedding was involved, he said.   

“Majority of it is planting the garden out – that’s the hardest work. Now it’s just managing it, keeping the water up and mowing the lawns,” said Lawrence.

The recent water restrictions imposed by Christchurch City Council during summer, which were lifted earlier this month, proved a challenge when it came to maintaining water levels.

Like all residents, he was restricted to using hoses and sprinklers on alternate days and could not use water between certain hours. In spite of this, his garden came out of the season unscathed.

Said Lawrence: “I managed to work around that – I had to get up earlier in the morning and put the hoses on, it was a bit inconvenient but never mind.”

Peter Lawrence's garden. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Peter Lawrence's garden. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Bringing about happiness in the community with his unique designs fuelled the passion further, but it was not the only reason why he delved into the world of horticulture to begin with.

“My grandfather was a very good gardener,” said Lawrence.

“I couldn’t play competitive sport, so I took my frustrations out on the garden.”

Lawrence said the nature of his previous work also played a part in the growth of his talent as the former funeral director of Academy Funeral Services.

Although he was semi-retired, he was still a contractor at the home.

In spite of being a veteran competition winner, Lawrence has never been met with tension or hostility by other keen horticulturists who strived to live up to the Garden City image as much as he did.

As well as hard work, the key to success, he said, was putting your own stamp on your garden.

“My style of gardening may not be like other people. One of the gardens was full of succulents, it was beautiful,” he said.

“Carry on with your passion, you never know what’s around the corner.”

Residents and businesses across the city battled it out for an award at the Christchurch Beautifying Association Summer Garden Competition. Here are the 2021 recipients:
Ruske Cup – Premier Garden
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Taylor Cup – Novice
First: Ricky Chapman. 2 Muir Ave, Halswell.
Second: John and Mary Churchill. 40 Valiant St, Wigram.
Third: Des Bartlett. 214 Hendersons Rd, Hoon Hay.
Certificate of Merit:
Jeff and Brigette Clark. 30 Highwood Lane, Burnside.
Shirley Van Grinsven and Fred Killick. 72 Ottawa Rd, Wainoni.
Joanne Guilbert. 28 Forbes St, Sydenham.
Julie Steffens. 10 Hussar Pl, Hoon Hay.
Murray Holmwood. 2 Donovan Pl, Aidanfield.
Sladen Cup (gardens over 18m frontage)
First: Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Second: Ray and June Stanbury. 48 Woodhurst Drive, Casebrook.
Third: Brian and Janet Lovelock. 32 Applefield Court, Northwood.
Howman Cup (flats & townhouses)
First: Peter Gooding. Villa 14, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Herbert Cup (gardens up to 18m frontage)
First: Ron and Glyn Andrew. 23 Molesworth Pl, Somerfield.
Second: Croydon Thomas. 3 Larnach St, Waimairi Beach.
Third: Allan and Margret Shears. 49 Richmond Ave, Halswell.
Certificate of Merit:
Anne E Smith. 11 Kereru Lane, Mona Vale.
Lindsay Corner. 13 Marshwood Pl, Sockburn.
Dobson Cup (garden that most uplifts their surroundings)
First: Graham and Kathy Mollison. 10 Sharnbrook Lane, Casebrook.
Second: Ross and Judy Honey. 79 Wales St, Halswell.
Third: Kenneth and Kathryn Morrison. 57 Tankerville Rd, Hoon Hay.
Certificate of Merit:
Wendy Moreton. 3 Cornet Lane, Aranui
Croydon Thomas. 3 Larnach St, Waimairi Beach.
Nick and Shona Harrison. 267 Cannon Hill Crescent, Mt Pleasant.
J & F Strachan. 4 Ansonby St, Russley.
Lynne Himiona. 43 Leicester Crescent, Hoon Hay.
Betty Hart Memorial Trophy (secret garden)
First: Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Second: Jacquie and Dave Ching. 39 Applefield Court, Northwood.
Third: Brian and Janet Lovelock. 32 Applefield Court, Northwood.
Certificate of Merit:
Gavin, Margaret and Michael Case. 340 Cranford St, St Albans
Peter and Jane Reed. 58 Coolspring Way, Redwood.
Croydon Thomas. 3 Larnach St, Waimairi Beach.
Christopher Arnesen. 460 Marine Parade, South New Brighton.
Sally McGillivray. 30 County Palms Drive, Halswell.
Vaughan Snowdon. 18 Quarters Pl, Halswell.
Jeff and Brigette Clark. 30 Highwood Lane, Burnside.
Judith and Keith McFarlane. Villa 41, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Carolyn and Brian Couch. Villa 34, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Patricia Marshall. 38 Ford Rd, Opawa.
Norma Edwards. 15B Broadbent St, Riccarton.
Ron and Glyn Andrew. 23 Molesworth Place, Somerfield.
Allan and Margret Shears. 49 Richmond Ave Halswell.
Hack Cup (gardens in streets served by public conveyance)
First: Allan and Margret Shears. 49 Richmond Ave, Halswell.
Second: Peter Gooding.
Villa 14, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Fitzroy Cup (area with underground wiring)
First: Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Second: Ray amd June Stanbury. 48 Woodhurst Drive, Casebrook.
CBA Trophy (continuing standard)
First: Carol and Alan Alfeld. 1 Viceroy Pl, Halswell.
Second: Tom and Ann Reed. 42 Bickerton St, Wainoni.
Third: Ann Tindall. Villa 15, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Certificate of Merit:
Ursula Schmidtke. 25 Molesworth Pl, Somerfield.
McMaster Cup (non-conventional garden of modern style)
First: Ruvae Britten. Villa 8, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Special Certificate of Merit:
Nina Messervy. 11a Austin Kirk Lane, Huntsbury.
Elliott Sinclair & Partners Trophy (villas & apartments)
First: Judith and Keith McFarlane. Villa 41, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Second: Carolyn and Brian Couch. Villa 34, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Third: Bruce and Shirley Wallace. Villa 6, 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Certificate of Merit:
Annette Furkert. Townhouse 28, 95 Grants Rd, Papanui.
Mary Mills. Townhouse 61, 95 Grants Rd, Papanui.
Rosemary Harper. Townhouse 88, 95 Grants Rd, Papanui.
Joan Batten. Townhouse 53, 95 Grants Rd, Papanui.
Alex Wilson. Flat 5, 19 Aberfoyle Pl, Parklands.
Margaret and Sefton Jones. Villa 6, 35 Whiteleigh Avenue, Addington.
Sue Cassidy. Villa 113, 135 Awatea Rd, Halswell.
Russell and Lois Eagle. Villa 90, 121 Skyhawk Rd, Wigram.
Peter and Toni Smith. Villa 95, 121 Skyhawk Rd, Wigram.
Kay and Lex Asham. Villa 97, 121 Skyhawk Rd, Wigram.
Patricia and John Rickerby. Villa 52, 121 Skyhawk Rd, Wigram.
Mary and John Corbett. Villa 43, 95 Corsair Drive, Wigram.
Gwen McLean. Villa 48, 95 Corsair Drive, Wigram.
Janice Havill. Villa 44, 95 Corsair Drive, Wigram.
Elizabeth and Denis Peacock. Villa 109, 135 Awatea Rd, Wigram.
Special Certificate of Merit:
Adrienne Todd. Villa 124, 135 Awatea Rd, Wigram.
Commercial:
A A Lawrence Memorial Trophy (premier award)
Russley Village. 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside.
Watling Cup (over 82.5m frontage)
First: John Rhind Funeral Directors. 19 London St, Richmond.
Second: Academy Funeral Services. 65 Main South Rd, Upper Riccarton.
Wallace Dalley Challenge Trophy (up to 82.5m frontage)
First: Dux Dine. 28 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton.
Second: Department of Conservation. 31 Nga Mahi Rd, Sockburn.
Third: Akaroa Salmon NZ. 89 Treffers Rd, Wigram.
Certificate of Merit:
Vicki’s Hair Studio. 205 Avonhead Rd, Avonhead.
Jefferies Trophy (hotels and motels)
First: Roma On Riccarton. 38 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton.
Second: Woolston Club. 43 Hargood St, Woolston.
Peter Lawrence Challenge Trophy (rest home and retirement villages)
First: Russley Village. 73 Roydvale Ave, Burnside
Second: Park Lane. 35 Whiteleigh Ave, Addington.
Third: Anthony Wilding Retirement Village. 5 Corbett Crescent, Aidanfield
Certificate of Merit:
Diana Isaac Retirement Village. 1 Lady Isaac Way, Mairehau.
Ngaio Marsh Retirement Village. 95 Grants Rd, Papanui.
Merivale Retirement Village. 27 Somme St, St Albans.
Addington Gardens. 207 Lincoln Rd, Addington.
Summerset at Wigram. 135 Awatea Rd, Wigram.
Streamside Court. St Johns St, Woolston.
Riccarton Workingmen’s Club Trophy (sports complex)
First: Riccarton Park Racecourse, 165 Racecourse Rd, Broomfield.
Second: Cashmere Bowling Club. 12 Crichton Terrace, Cashmere.
Third: Riccarton Racecourse Bowling Club. 171 Racecourse Rd, Sockburn.
Certificate of Merit:
Redcliffs Mt Pleasant Bowling Club. 9 James St, Redcliffs.
CBA Plaque (continuing standard)
First: Lady Wigram Retirement Village. 210 Kittyhawk Ave, Wigram.
Second: Avon City Motel. 402 Main North Rd, Redwood.
Third: Styx Mill Country Club. 160 Hussey Rd, Northwood.
Specials – commercial
Galey Trophy for Colour Impact.
Avon City Motel. 402 Main North Rd, Redwood.
Academy Funeral Services Cup (most meritorious feature)
Lady Wigram Retirement Village. 210 Kittyhawk Ave, Wigram.
Specials – residential
Gower Trophy (most meritorious feature)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Florinid Trophy (best lawn)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Redwood Trophy (best display of flowers and colour impact)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Ron Proctor Memorial Cup (best trees and shrubs)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Walsh Trophy (cultivation)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Lynnette Briggs Memorial Trophy (best perennial display)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.
Charlotte Harris Trophy (best residential driveway display)
Peter Lawrence. 20 Saracen Ave, Northwood.

 

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