Yellow fever

Poverty Bay Horticultural Society committee (from left) Anne Pole, Lil Phelps, Elizabeth Johnson, Maxine White, Ian White, Anita Hall, Raewyn McClutchie , Dawne Abraham, Verlie Shepherd and president Jill Coates amid Jill’s buckets of sunshine. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
Apparently little ones can catch yellow fever too — twins Nina and Dylan Lister surrounded by their grandmother Jill Coates’ daffodils.

YELLOW fever is rampaging across the district and according to those who are afflicted with the condition, there’s no cure.

One of the most seriously affected — or rather infected — is Gisborne woman Jill Coates, who admits her life is totally consumed by the fever, but oddly enough, she wouldn’t want it any other way.

It all started about 10 years ago when she caught the fever from well-known local daffodil enthusiasts George and Kevin Johnston.

It began with Jill buying a few bulbs which rapidly spread to the hundreds and then thousands.

Soon she was winning regional and national awards for her blooms and was totally smitten.

“I became a hopeless case,” says Jill.

At this time of the year when the cheerful flowers are at their prettiest, Jill lives and breathes daffodils.

And this spring, the fever is more severe than ever. Jill, president of the Poverty Bay Horticultural Society (PBHS), and her 13-strong “marvellous” committee have just tidied up after the local Camellia and Daffodil Show last weekend and are busy preparing to host the North Island National Daffodil Show next weekend.

“It’s all go — I tell you!” says Jill as she inspects a bloom in one of the 465 buckets from which she will cut flowers to exhibit in vases at the show. The daffodil bulbs are planted in threes in 10-litre buckets so they are easy to move around.

1000 flowers bloom

This is the third time the PBHS has hosted the national show and Jill is expecting over 1000 blooms to be on display on Saturday and Sunday at Showgrounds Park Event Centre.

“This show attracts daffodil growers from all over the country and the blooms en masse are truly something to behold,” she says.

“One lady with a serious case of yellow fever has even hired a private plane to fly her daffodils to Gisborne for the show, to ensure they arrive in pristine condition,” says Jill.

“Gisborne has an excellent reputation for the venue and the hospitality we provide. We look after our visitors very well.”

Each national society member who registers for the show is given a hostess basket containing Jill’s homemade Russian fudge, Waimata Cheese, Harvest Cider, Arnott’s watercrackers, little jars of jam made by committee members and a daffodil coffee mug.

Membership of the PBHS provides free schedules and admission to the shows but you do not have to be a member to exhibit. There are also categories for non-members including a floral art table decoration section open to all.

“People are amazed when they see all the different varieties of daffodils — there are 13 altogether, some with pink centres and white petals, droopy heads, multi-heads, split coronas, miniatures, jonquils, cyclamineus and triandrus . . . ”

There’s a dinner at the Jolly Stockman on Saturday evening and judging schools and meetings on Sunday.

Then it’s time to get organised for the Rose and Iris Show on November 4-5.

“Is there such a thing as rose fever and iris fever too? I ask Jill.

“Yes indeed . . . and be warned. It can be even worse than yellow fever,” she says.

YELLOW fever is rampaging across the district and according to those who are afflicted with the condition, there’s no cure.

One of the most seriously affected — or rather infected — is Gisborne woman Jill Coates, who admits her life is totally consumed by the fever, but oddly enough, she wouldn’t want it any other way.

It all started about 10 years ago when she caught the fever from well-known local daffodil enthusiasts George and Kevin Johnston.

It began with Jill buying a few bulbs which rapidly spread to the hundreds and then thousands.

Soon she was winning regional and national awards for her blooms and was totally smitten.

“I became a hopeless case,” says Jill.

At this time of the year when the cheerful flowers are at their prettiest, Jill lives and breathes daffodils.

And this spring, the fever is more severe than ever. Jill, president of the Poverty Bay Horticultural Society (PBHS), and her 13-strong “marvellous” committee have just tidied up after the local Camellia and Daffodil Show last weekend and are busy preparing to host the North Island National Daffodil Show next weekend.

“It’s all go — I tell you!” says Jill as she inspects a bloom in one of the 465 buckets from which she will cut flowers to exhibit in vases at the show. The daffodil bulbs are planted in threes in 10-litre buckets so they are easy to move around.

1000 flowers bloom

This is the third time the PBHS has hosted the national show and Jill is expecting over 1000 blooms to be on display on Saturday and Sunday at Showgrounds Park Event Centre.

“This show attracts daffodil growers from all over the country and the blooms en masse are truly something to behold,” she says.

“One lady with a serious case of yellow fever has even hired a private plane to fly her daffodils to Gisborne for the show, to ensure they arrive in pristine condition,” says Jill.

“Gisborne has an excellent reputation for the venue and the hospitality we provide. We look after our visitors very well.”

Each national society member who registers for the show is given a hostess basket containing Jill’s homemade Russian fudge, Waimata Cheese, Harvest Cider, Arnott’s watercrackers, little jars of jam made by committee members and a daffodil coffee mug.

Membership of the PBHS provides free schedules and admission to the shows but you do not have to be a member to exhibit. There are also categories for non-members including a floral art table decoration section open to all.

“People are amazed when they see all the different varieties of daffodils — there are 13 altogether, some with pink centres and white petals, droopy heads, multi-heads, split coronas, miniatures, jonquils, cyclamineus and triandrus . . . ”

There’s a dinner at the Jolly Stockman on Saturday evening and judging schools and meetings on Sunday.

Then it’s time to get organised for the Rose and Iris Show on November 4-5.

“Is there such a thing as rose fever and iris fever too? I ask Jill.

“Yes indeed . . . and be warned. It can be even worse than yellow fever,” she says.

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