My farewell message to Waikato Times readers

No longer wanted at Waikato Times newspaper….
057 - Copy - CopyIt is time for me to bid farewell to Waikato readers. This will be my last garden page. The new-look garden page will be rolled out next Saturday but I will not be part of it. I have really enjoyed writing for this publication over the past 3 ½ years and would like to thank readers for reading it. Thank you also to those of you who have emailed and even written proper letters and cards.

I have an online presence for anyone who wishes to keep following – on Facebook under thejurygarden, on Twitter as @Tikorangi and a blog at I won’t stop writing. Eventually I may manage to compose my piece on the point where heavily ornamented gardens cross over to folk art (and, scarily, where they don’t). This will, however, will remain a mystery to readers of this page.

Thanks, goodbye and good gardening.

???????????????????????????????“I shall stop being queer,” he said, “if I go to the garden. There is Magic in there – good Magic, you know, Mary, I am sure there is.”
“So am I,” said Mary.
“Even if it isn’t real Magic,” Colin said, “we can pretend it is. Something is there – something!”
“It’s Magic,” said Mary, but not black. It’s as white as snow.”
They always called it Magic, and indeed it seemed like it in the months that followed – the wonderful months – the radiant months – the amazing ones. Oh! the things which happened in that garden! If you have never had a garden, you cannot understand, and if you have had a garden, you will know that it would take a whole book to describe all the things that came to pass there.

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden (1911).

10 thoughts on “My farewell message to Waikato Times readers

  1. Pat Webster

    Dear Abbie, I will miss your gardening column. Even when the topics were out of tune with my own climate, I enjoyed reading what you had to say. My husband was a journalist for over 50 years, for various Canadian newspapers, so I understand the difficulties that the industry is going through now. Still, I hope the readers of the Waikato Times will continue to receive helpful, well-written and thoughtful pieces. I will continue to enjoy your other writings. Best wishes.

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Thank you Pat. But I have seen what they have coming in their syndicated pages which are already printed in our local paper. The garden writing equivalent of elevator muzak.

  2. zneto

    Hi Abbie,

    Well I am disappointed, but not at all surprised that you have been dumped by the Waikato Times. We gave up on that newspaper a year ago after many decades of being a subscriber.

    It took three months to get a refund when they double dipped our bank account – frequent calls to the Hamilton telephone number ended up at a call centre in Manila and operators who didn’t seem to have a clue.

    Emails to various addresses were never answered.

    Earlier this year I was involved with a quite important event – the Awards Dinner for the RotoArt Student Art Contest. Getting a write-up about the contest was almost impossible and when it did happen they used an incorrect photograph. The headquarters in Hamilton seem to be manned by about ten people where in the 1970’s there was dozens if not more than 100.

    Janice and I will keep following your Facebook writings.



    p.s. Oh – at least there has been one very good thing this year. The Taranaki Oil Exploration thing seems to have hit a big speed bump – with a bit of luck it will all be abandoned


    Barry L Marx P O Box 209 Otorohanga 3940 New Zealand

    Cell Local: 021 626 090 Overseas: +64 21 626 090

    Curator RotoArt Student Art Contest

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Sadly, Barry, the way of Fairfax today as it struggles to get to grips with a changing media world.
      Yes, with the oil and gas stuff – we are loving the slow down which has had the immediate effect of improving the quality of our life and have our fingers crossed. But I have yet to see any analysis of how plummeting oil prices affect gas and methanol which are what assail us. Tikorangi is gas, not oil and most of that gas goes to service the Canadian-owned methanol plants which contribute so much to our soundscape. We go to sleep listening th the distant drone and we wake through the night to this ongoing low level drone. We will be partying if the plants are closed again.

  3. Hannah Zwartz

    Sorry to hear that Abbie, I enjoy your writing. I have had the same experience with the Dominion Post in the last year, times are changing. Keep up the blogging!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      Thanks Hannah. I think it likely the Dom Post and Press will also be in line for the new look syndicated Fairfax garden page – singular. One page.

  4. sandra

    Hi Abbie, As you know my weekly column was binned last year by the paper in Tauranga – in favour of a syndicated page that someone has described to me as blancmange. Gardening may be a growth industry (pun intended) but newspaper editors and owners don’t seem to be aware of that or don’t care. There is now a column in the free weekly by the owner of an independent garden centre, “paid content”, which means she pays for the privilege of writing it! All the best for your continued blogging!

    1. Abbie Jury Post author

      It is VERY discouraging, I admit. But unless readers rise up demanding higher quality, they will end up with blancmange or muzak equivalents in garden writing. I am not sure what will happen over time – money and deadlines are wonderful incentives – but I will never stop writing in some form or other. I notice you are continuing with your blog too.

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