Village of a 1000 rose bushes

Villagers at the Highlander listen to the string quartet as they are surrounded by roses all the way.

From the Pirate King to Sexy Rexy, Absolutely Fabulous and more, they all bloomed with pride, competing for attention.

However, it was Tequila Sunrise that was voted the Prettiest Rose by Metlifecare Highlands residents, a retirement village tucked away at Highland Park.

“The roses have been going nuts,” says village manager Brett Stuart, at a special event held at the Highlands on Friday evening for residents as the Auckland Philharmonic

Orchestral group Viereingeit put up a performance surrounded by colourful and scented rose bushes.

“The rose shrubs have been flourishing and our head gardener Jacek Andreasik along with a team of three has been working hard to make it a village of 1000 rose bushes,” says Stuart.

The villagers were asked to judge the best rose and the verdict was a flaming beauty, Tequila Sunrise.

Possibly the largest rose garden in east Auckland, Andreasik says that while the Highlander have a variety of gardens including bonsai and a big herb garden, villagers love their old and new variety of roses.

“We had 900 rose bushes at the last count but during lockdown when the villagers were in their bubble, we decided to make the gardens even more beautiful with a 1000 roses,” he says.

While it had its challenges with delivery of rose plants during lockdown, the end result has been spectacular.

Andreasik gives due credit to a resident at the village who has been involved with the New Zealand Rose Society and has helped him to get the best out of the masterpiece of nature.