[Environment] INDOOR GARDENING : GARDENING : HORTICULTURE : BIOGRAPHIES : OBITUARIES : COUNTRIES: NEW ZEALAND: Ellaby Martin: A Giant of Waikato Horticulture

 

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INDOOR GARDENING :

GARDENING :

HORTICULTURE :

BIOGRAPHIES :

OBITUARIES :

COUNTRIES: NEW ZEALAND:

Ellaby Martin: A Giant of Waikato Horticulture

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Ellaby Martin: A Giant of Waikato Horticulture

RICHARD SWAINSON

Last updated 05:00, June 25 2016

Stuff

http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/81382128/ ellaby-martin-a-giant-of-waikato-horticulture

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/z83gnxf

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Returning to Hamilton in 1961, Ellaby resumed work for the Parks Department whilst sowing the seeds for his own business.

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Martin’s Nurseries & Garden Centre opened initially in Insoll Avenue and relocated to Rototuna Road in 1970.

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Over the next three decades, Ellaby became what Hamilton Gardens director Dr Peter Sergel describes as a guru of Waikato horticulture, the man to turn to for advice on plants, propagation and gardening. Capable of turning on the charm for customers, he was also known to terrorise errant young children or staff. Few of the 50 odd people who worked for Ellaby Martin ever regretted it, receiving as fine an education in history, politics and geography as they did in horticulture.

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The Martin sense of humour often expressed itself in witty letters to the editor, poking fun at prejudice or bureaucracy. His advocacy for camel racing at Days Park and the need for a “part-time witch” at the Hamilton Gardens neatly complemented Sergel’s own mischief making. “He liked poking a stick at the wasps’ nest,” says Sergel.

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With a fine baritone voice and abilities as an actor, Ellaby graced both a Community Choir and several Music Makers productions, earning particularly good notices as Emile in South Pacific. He was also an enthusiastic tennis player, taking up the sport at 30 and being very active in Veterans Tennis for 40 years.

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In retirement, Ellaby became involved with the Hamilton Gardens Committee (at the invitation of council), then with the Friends of the Hamilton Gardens, serving as president of that organisation, holding forth at plant propagation gatherings and often acting as tour guide around the Gardens, leading rambles with great authority.

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Even as his eyesight failed and his health deteriorated, Ellaby was an entertaining and erudite host.

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He was presented with several life memberships, notably of the International Plant Propagators Society, and in 2009, a Hamilton City Civic Award for Services to the Community.

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He is survived by his second wife, Pamela, two children, his first wife, three stepchildren and six step-grandchildren.

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Ellaby James Martin, 1931-2016

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
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