During the first half of the 20th century, Otahuna became nationally famous for its fields of daffodils – the largest in New Zealand at the time. Surplus bulbs were donated to the city of Christchurch forming the nucleus of the daffodil gardens in Hagley Park. Today, millions of bulbs still bloom resplendent every September, welcoming guests to the property.
Heaton Rhodes was a passionate horticulturist, serving as president of the Canterbury Horticultural Society for more than 50 years. His gardeners bred their own varieties of prize-winning daffodils, and Heaton and Jessie would often help them pollinate the flowers by hand.