Missionaries, Wives and Roses

Ann Chapman


This book is a double celebration — of the early missionaries, settlers and their wives, and of New Zealander Ken Nobbs who honoured them in his roses.

SKU: 978-1-877577-91-8 Categories: , , , Tags: , ,


When the Reverend Samuel Marsden, under the mantle of the chief Ruatara, sent his missionaries to the far north of New Zealand they were often unprepared for the hardships that followed. Their wives frequently bore the greater burden as they were left alone, bearing children, teaching, nursing, gardening and building a home in harsh conditions while their husbands travelled.

Ken Nobbs (1909–1996), himself a former missionary to the Sudan before retiring and turning his hand to writing, horticulture and breeding roses, was inspired by their stories: ‘I am offering a number of new rambler roses … Instead of identifying them by numbers I have distinguished them by names, taking the opportunity to honour the memory of pioneer women who might otherwise be forgotten.’

About the author

Ann and Lloyd Chapman moved to Otaki in 1987 to establish Trinity Farm, a heritage rose nursery growing a wide range of old roses. Their garden grew more than 1500 varieties, and rekindled Ann’s love of history and classic roses.

In 2000, fellow rosarians gave them cuttings of Ken’s rambling roses from the Waikato and so started the mission to save them. In 2011 Ann received a research scholarship from Heritage Roses NZ to investigate them — Missionaries, Wives & Roses is the result.

Ann has long been fascinated with roses named after women, culminating in the release of Women in my Rose Garden in 2010, now published in four languages and attracting critical acclaim. She is currently researching the lives of notable men and the roses named after them.

Additional information


, , ,