Terry Dowdeswell Bio
by Terry Dowdeswell


Terry Dowdeswell is the owner of Dowdeswell's Delphiniums in Wanganui New Zealand.

Be sure to visit his site at

November 28, 2000

terryd.jpg (6541 bytes)1pt.gif (86 bytes)I was born in Nottingham, England in 1948, to parents who knew how to do all the things the Welfare State thinks it knows how to do these days. Both my mother and father are family people and they sure passed this down to their son, who chose a wife of like mind to help perpetuate the trait.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)My schooling was fairly rudimentary. Having failed the English "eleven plus" examination (at the tender age of eleven I guess) and therefore my being brain dead, the education system concentrated on equipping me with the means to learn a decent trade, i.e. the three Rs: readin ritin and rithmatic. Not being interested in a trade I decided to learn the Rs anyway, and put them to various nefarious uses of my own as seemed fit from time to time.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)My first jobs were those of a nursery (of the plant variety) worker and saw me through my first year in the work force. This was hardly a surprise as my father was a self employed nurseryman and he seemed to have passed a green finger or two on to his son. Of course after a year I decided that this was too much like hard work and opted for office work in the form of a trainee Cost and Works accountant. This was just my cup of tea, a real stimulus which helped me acquire skills so useful in later years.
After another year had passed there was an opportunity for our family (my parents, younger brother and I) to emigrate to New Zealand and thus it was that I found myself in this beautiful country that has become my home.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)I spent several years in office work, finally leaving to become a "pig man", working on a large farm raising pigs (hogs) where I soon progressed to the heady heights of being in charge of the mating department. Of course, while still in the respectable office trade I had fallen in love, married and begun to raise a family, so was now well qualified for this new position. I coincidentally became very fit and adept at jumping the 5 foot high walls of pigs pens designed to keep procreating porkies away from the eyes of the innocent.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)Time passed, pigs multiplied and one day I found myself working for with my father in his tomato growing business. This arrangement stained my hands black but left the fingers a little greener and I began growing flowers in my spare time. All went well, and with the help of my wife, Janice, our chrysanthemums became much sought after, whereupon we embarked on a business of our own growing them for the cut flower trade.
In 1982, right after buying a house and land and setting up the chrysanthemum crop we found that we had both become allergic to chrysanthemums and suffered a number of health problems. Oh Boy, Party time! There followed a number of years during which we experimented with many different cut flower crops with reasonable success, and brought up our young family. It was during this time that we also "discovered" the delphinium, became fascinated with their forms and colours and began some fairly basic selection work, after first obtaining superior seed from the very best breeders in the UK.
1pt.gif (86 bytes)While I became interested in the delphinium, Janice, who has a much sharper mind than I, saw the chrysanthemum allergy as an opportunity for her to begin a new career, or rather an affair, with "the computer". It was this divergence of interests that later enabled us to bring complementry skills together and develop our delphinium business in a way that would fund both our habits. As an added bonus we also get to meet and enjoy friends all over the world, without leaving home.

Terry Dowdeswell
692 Brunswick Road
New Zealand

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