Alice and Edith’s garden
After the death of their mother, Euphemia, in 1919, her daughters went to the East Coast for a holiday. They were able to indulge their interest in New Zealand plants by bringing back small specimens of rimu, totara, miro, tawa and the native maidenhair fern. The sisters supplied flowers and foliage to Ruby Norris, a local florist, and raised funds to help soldiers during WW I by selling bunches of violets. They also raised some much needed income by supplying flowers and foliage to a local florist.
The Elms was once famous for its hollyhocks, which grew to an amazing 16 ft in height. In the 1930s a couple employed by Alice to help with the property obtained seed from a gardener at Buckingham Palace from the splendid hollyhocks that grew there. For years they self seeded in The Elms garden.
The last of the original elms planted by Reverend Brown was felled in the 1950s but one tree remains on the north lawn, grown from a sucker from one of the originals. It was planted by Alice Maxwell about 1945 in order to retain one of the trees after which the property is named.