These details have been taken from Frank Sydenham’s original index cards. With many plants numbering in their thousands, the scale and variety of his gardening endeavours were truly impressive.
Thanks to Sandra Simpson for compiling this list.
Allium flavum, A. roseum, A moly, A sphaerocephalon (ornamentals)
Anemone St Brigid (double, 1500 bulbs) A. fulgens (single)
Ageratum (Frank’s sp is different)
Acacia mearnsii (syn Acacia decurrens var mollis) *Frank called it beach wattle, the Australians call it black wattle and invasive.
Amaryllis belladonna multiflora: alba and rosea. In 1952 he had 550 alba and 237 rosea.
Apples, planted July 1947, plants from Miller’s Nursery: Cox’s Orange, Granny Smith, Sturmer
Bamboo 8.9.1947 planted 80 pieces below cowshed. 20.6.71 planted 77 cuttings
Bouvardia: including Beauty of Brisbane, Zealandia, Pres. Cleveland, Pres. Garfield, Rosy Morn
Billbergia euphemia in 1960 he had 275 (from 15 original plants)
Chrysanthemum: including Daisy Page, Louis Boehmer, Mrs Churchill, Mrs C Cooper, Wilma, Alice Moir, Yellowstone, Avon Orange, Blanche de P, Early S Bronze, Anzac White, Winter Yellow, Purple. 1947: David Meade, Kingi Kahi, Pink?, Mrs Ernest Kerrs, Rose Day, Bob Pulling, Melba Lancaster, Mrs Andrews, Edith Cavell, Duke of Windsor, Beautiful Lady, Mrs RC Pulling, Margaret Rose, Clara?, Mrs H Wells, Edna Daniell, Madelan, Crimson Amaranth, Golden Treasure, Arapata, Gondolier, Mrs Palmer, Good Gracious Pink, Pink Terrace, Good Gracious White, Rosette, Golden Dawn, Purple Cloud, White Plume, Taradale Bronze, Waerenga Red, Sungold, Royal Velvet, Audrey, Victory Pink, Aegean, Lady of Shalott, Wildfire, Mrs L Crane, Channels, Golden Charm, Rosina, Laskii, TJ Gordon.
Chimonanthus fragrans (a type of wintersweet)
Chlidanthus fragrans (bulb)
Chinese gooseberry grafts
Carnations: including London Smoke, Pink Pearl, Dr Holgate, Mrs Puette, Ruby Rich, Pink Lady, White Clare, Muriel, Otashi Pink, Floristo Pink, Enfante de Nice, Perdita, Wilson’s Apricot, Maori Chief, Brilliant, Dixons?, Enchantress
Calla: Whiteye, Dark Rose, Jean (Joan?) and 1 other
Citrus: Island orange planted with blue lupin, 18 Meyer lemon, 2 Jamacian grapefruit, navel oranges
Calchicum (doesn’t specify which one.)
Cyperus alternifolius (umbrella papyrus) “requires more protection from frost and cold winds that papyrus”.
Casuarina stricta (Casuarina colgante), drooping she-oak
Cyrtanthus (bulb) in glasshouse.
Daffodils: including Helios, Silver Plane, Ballarat, Medusa, Duchess, Silver Dawn, Kauri Belle, Silver Rose, Prince Umbria, Orange Glow, John Evelyn, Golden Spur, Jean Hood, St Just.
Daphne, cuttings came from Freda (Frank’s sister)
Dipidax triquetra (now Onixotis triquetra), bulb for damp areas
Eucalyptus: E. amygdalina (black peppermint); E. macarthurii, E. wimmerensis (? handwriting not clear)
Eremurus, foxtail lily, divided clumps by force in 1951
Flax: Tricolour, 180 replanted in 1960; Smiling Morn, 900
Gerbera, doubles & singles
Gladioli: including Hill Glory, Star of Bath, Shirley Temple, Bo Peep, Picardy;
G. communis subsp. Byzantinus; G. psittacinus; G. primulinus
Grape Albany Surprise (For decades Albany Surprise was the most widely grown table grape in New Zealand. Originating from Isabella, an American variety, it was selected and propagated by George Pannill at Albany, Auckland, around 1900. It is a prolific producer of large black berries with a sweet taste and tough skin – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.)
Haemanthus cocccinea, 96
Hyacinths, about 1200
Hymenocallis harrisiana, Ismene
Iris: I. stolonifera Maxim (syn Iris leichtlinii Regel) native to central Asia; I. hoogiana purpurea (quite a rare bulb apparently), scented, native to central Asia; I. hoogiana Bronze Beauty (“vigorous and breath-taking” says an online nursery); I. regeliocyclus, Isolda (reg 1916), Eunice (1937), Hecate, Artemis (1908), Teucros, Thor, Andromanche, Nemesis – about 400 in total, imported bulbs; I. korolkowii var concolour Foster (syn Iris korolkowii Regel), another rare one; I. susiana L (mourning iris, grown in Europe 400 years ago, not known in the wild), several thousand in 1948
Lachenalia: L. pendula (now L. bulbifera), 2000 bulbs; L. pearsonii, 1000 bulbs;
L. nelsoni, 700 bulbs
Leonotis (lion’s tail), ordinary and giant
Leucospermum reflexum, 6 plants received by mail in 1947
Lilium: L. speciosum, L. auratum var platyphyllum, L. thomsonianum, L. Aurelian (tumpet), L. pardalinum, L. philippinense Snow Drift, L. tenuifolium
Lycoris: L. aurea “258 ex Japan” (golden spider lily), L. radiate, L. squamigera var purpurea
Mustard “birds have pulled up a lot”
Nerine: N. bowdenii, N. erubescens, N. filafolia, N. flexuosa Alba, N. fothergillii major, N. rosea, N. sarniensis
Peaches, black, nectarine
Poinsettia 1947 “practically a failure through neglect”
Iceland poppies: Daydream, orange, pink
Romulea sabulosa (bulb)
Roses: Kirsten Poulson, “Early” Poulson, Lorraine Lee (Australian bred); Etoile de Hollande & Shot Silk (both climbers), R. bracteata (listed as aggressively invasive in the southern US)
Scilla: S. campanulata Excelsior, S. siberica
Slipper orchids (312, Paphiopedilum)
Stock: Giant Imperial, Brompton, colours = canary yellow, purple, “rose”
Strawberries (plants from Freda)
Tree lucerne (Chamaecytisus palmensis)
Tree tomato (yellow)
Tuberose, single & double
Tulipa hageri (1000, regarded as a rare plant)
Tillandsia (Spanish moss)
Vegetables: carrots, parsnips, Canadian wonder beans (an heirloom variety)
Veltheimia bracteata (bulb)
Water plants: Pontederia cordata, Aponogeton distachyos (Aponogeton distachyum), Comanche water lily, Pygmaea Helvola, miniature water lily
Watsonias: W. beatricis, W. coccinea, W. starkeae var. rubra L.Bolus, named varieties include Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart, Netta, Fanny Lyon, Roberta
Zephyranthes (presumably candida) and Z. robusta (syn Habranthus robustus)
Plants mentioned in resource material:
Witch hazel tree by the entry (1970-ish)
Japonica by the entry
Daffodils, “a massed area”.
Ornamental flaxes bordering the lawn near the entrance. “Here were plants by the thousand and they constituted extremely good bread and butter lines.” (1970-ish)
Had 3 varieties of miniature flax – one green, one bronze, one variegated. Two of them he sold for 1d/leaf; one for 6d/leaf (nephew)
Thuja occidentalis Rheinegold on the opposite side to the flax and “a variety of ivy in great demand by florists”. (1970-ish)
Orange trees “packed with fruit”. “The well sheltered grove of orange trees with its quality fruit also indicated that the full potential of the Bay of Plenty in the growing of oranges has yet to be realised”. (1970-ish)
Leucospermums. “Mr Moorhouse says the huge old leucospermums planted among the citrus give a greater return from the flowers than the oranges.” (1980)
Tahitian limes “a small planting that gives a good return at the Wellington market”. (1980)
Ornamental conifer selection
Lophomyrtus (NZ native, foliage) “proving successful and additional areas are being planted”. (1980)
Members of the protea family
First person to have air plants (Tillandsias) in New Zealand, but he died before he could make commercial use of them (nephew)
Avocado tree grown from a stone that took 25 years to fruit (cousin-in-law)
From R Hart’s list:
Leucodendron Safari Sunset and Fireglow. Tga Bk20 pg 51.
“Well over 100 varieties of flowers for the commercial market.”
“Mr Sydenham had many rare species which he grew for their interest.” (1970-ish)
“One of the many features of the garden is a monument he built to commemorate Sir Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Everest.” (BOP Times, 1970)
Advertisement in the BOP Times (tucked in with Frank’s index cards):
Exhibition of photos of landscapes and trees in the Middle East taken by Frank Sydenham. Illustrated address by Frank Sydenham M.Ag at the Methodist Hall, Tauranga, under the auspices of the Tauranga Horticultural Society on 17.9.1948.