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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Commercial Ornamental Horticulture

Nurseries producing woody plants for sale must register. In 1963 there were 526 registered nurseries, with a total acreage of 1,688 acres. There were 360 registered nurseries in the North Island, 85 in Auckland and 68 in Palmerston North; and 166 in the South, 79 in Canterbury and 27 in Otago. Inspectors of the Horticulture Division, Department of Agriculture, inspect registered nurseries twice a year to ensure that they are free from disease. Nurseries growing non-woody plants (such as seedlings or bulbs) do not have to register, so there are no accurate figures of their numbers.

New Zealand nurserymen are up to date in their methods and quickly test and adopt new techniques, such as mist propagation and growing and selling plants in containers. Nurserymen's courses held at various centres have always been well attended. Bulb growing is not so specialised as in Holland; many bulb growers cut and market some of the flowers. Narcissi and gladioli are grown everywhere; hyacinths and tulips are mainly in Canterbury and further south, with a small area in the high country in the centre of the North Island. Cut flowers are grown by specialist producers in all districts, a small section of market gardeners producing one particular line, such as daffodils or chrysanthemums. Many people near the larger centres grow cut flowers part time, or sell the surplus from the home garden. Most flowers are grown outdoors, with carnations the main glasshouse crop. A wide variety of floral material is available and used, especially the newer flowering shrubs, such as boronia and thryptomene. Florists are not conservative in their methods or choice of material; the Diploma of the New Zealand Society of Professional Floral Artists has a high international standing. Floral art is developing rapidly and floral art groups are being formed in many places, sometimes as branches of other organisations, such as the Townswomen's Guilds.

The flowers are sold mainly through the auction markets in each centre and air freight is used extensively to send narcissi from North to South in winter, and tulips and chrysanthemums from South to North in October and late summer respectively.

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