Since I examined Species Roses last week , I thought I would start the month with a feature post on the ACTO Heritage Rose Garden, which is based at Mt Lofty Botanic Garden in the Adelaide Hills and is devoted to Species Roses. I am also discussing the Adelaide Botanic Garden later on.
Mt Lofty Botanic Garden : ACTO Heritage Rose Garden25 minutes from Adelaide CBD; Free entrance; Map above from the official brochure.
Upper Entrance: Summit Rd, Crafers
Lower Entrance: Lampert Rd, Piccadilly
8.30 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday; 10 am to 5 pm Weekends and Public Holidays (6 pm Daylight Savings)
Mt Lofty Botanic Garden covers an area of 97 hectares in the Adelaide Hills and specializes in cool climate plants. It is one of three gardens managed by the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide and was opened to the public in 1977. The ACTO Heritage Rose Garden is set right up the top of the hill on the northern corner of the gardens above the nursery, and even though it is quite a long walk and not the easiest to find, it is well worth persevering! It is also a lovely walk up through the gardens! It started as the National Species Rose Collection in 1977. The cooler climate of the Adelaide Hills is more favourable for the Species and Heritage Roses, while Hybrid Teas predominate in the much warmer Adelaide Botanic Garden in the city. During the late 1980s, the collection morphed into the ACTO Heritage Rose Garden and is dedicated to Clive Armour, the former Chairman of the Board of the Adelaide Botanic Garden and CEO of ACTO Power. The collection continues to expand with new acquisitions, grown by seed from known wild origin. Here are two maps from the official brochure:This garden is dedicated to Species Roses and the History and Development of the Rose. They are the forerunners of all modern roses and have huge variety in their shape, origin and scent. Usually they are all single (double or multiple petalled forms are usually hybrids) with 5 petals (though R. sericea pteracantha usually has only 4 petals). They provide all-year round interest and display from their Spring flowers to Autumn foliage and ripening hips in a wide variety of colour, shape and size. Roses are grouped in sections according to their characteristics (flowers; foliage; prickles; hips; and chromosome number). They are displayed in a linear taxonomic arrangement, with each group labelled with information, specific to that group, as well as each rose species being individually labelled. Rose-shaped information boards have titles from : The Story of the Rose and Old European Roses to Botanic Buccaneers; Out of China and The Power to Perpetually Flower; Rugged Roses (Rugosas and American roses) and finally Hip Hip Hooray, describing some of the roses renowned for their beautiful hips.Attached to the online site is an excellent audio tour about the cultural and botanical history of the rose by Alexandra de Blas, who interviews Walter Duncan, a prominent rose breeder and rose grower of international renown (we visited his Heritage Garden in Clare in Peak Old Rose blooming season in late October 2014!) and Dr Brian Morley, a former Director of the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. It is well worth listening to it, both before and after visiting Mt Lofty Botanic Garden. Ideally, you would listen it as you walk round each bed! Unfortunately, I discovered the audio tour after my visit, so I cannot verify the mobile reception coverage in the garden! All in all, it is an excellent précis of the History of the Rose, even if you never get to visit this wonderful garden!! See: www.environment.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/botanic_gardens/audio/atco.zip.
I will now show you some photos of the different rose beds in the order discussed on the audio tour.
- Old European Species: In the early days of settlement in Australia, roses were transported by ship in Wardian cases to Hobart and Sydney, then overland to Adelaide. Gallica roses grew well in the early colonial gardens. An example from this bed is Cardinal de Richelieu, a deep purple Gallica. Albas and Damasks are both complex hybrids. Trigintipetala or Kazanlik is grown in vast paddocks in Bulgaria, its petals distilled to produce attar of roses, used in the perfumery industry. Maxima is a very old, very tall Alba from the 15th century.
- Wild Roses : Hebe’s Lip (1st photo) is a cross between a Damask and R. eglanteria, while Lord Penzance, a cross between R. eglanteria and ‘Harison’s Yellow’ (3rd photo below), is one of the Penzance Briars (2nd photo). Also see the photo of the shrub at end of this section on Mt. Lofty Botanic Garden. Scotch Briars or Burnet Roses, R. pimpinellifolia or R. spinosissima, are also tough Species Roses, which grow in the wild in cold mountainous regions from the Alps to the Rockies and even the Arctic Circle.
- Chinese Species : The introduction of the continuous-flowering China roses to Europe by businessmen, returning from China in the days when China was opening up to the West, had an enormous impact on rose breeding. The four Stud Chinas : Old Blush (Parson’s Pink China) 1789; Slater’s Crimson China 1792; Hume’s Blush Tea-Scented China 1810; and Parks Yellow Tea-Scented China 1824, arrived in England in the late 18th century. Their petals had a translucent glow and a delicate scent, reminiscent of the tea chests, in which they arrived on the ships of the East India Company. Old Blush is an excellent picking rose and makes a good hedge. Mutabilis is one of my favourite China roses, its multi-coloured single flowers, reminding me of butterflies!Hermosa is a classic China hybrid rose. Two yellow species from China are Father Hugo’s Rose, R. hugonis (1st photo) and Canary Bird, a hybrid of R. xanthina (2nd and 3rd photos). R. sweginzowii is found in NW China.The plant hunters, or Botanic Bucaneers as they are labelled, also brought in Chinese species. Robert Fortune is remembered in the name of R. fortuneana. It is closely related to the Banksia roses, R. banksiae, with which it is closely intertwined in the photos below. There is also a single form: R. banksiae lutescens. Ernest Wilson brought back R. wilmottiae, R. moyesii and R. roxburghii. Wilmot’s Rose, R. wilmottiae, comes from Western China. Moyes Rose, Rosa moyesii, has arching canes, red flowers (though there is a pink variation) and bright sealing wax red, bottle-shaped hips. The Chestnut Rose (or Burr Rose), R. roxburghii, from China and Japan has vicious prickles, evergreen foliage, repeat-blooming flowers and prickly yellow hips, reminiscent of a chestnut or small pineapple. R. sericea pteracantha uses its blood-red, translucent winged thorns to gain purchase and climb up other vegetation. It is 3 m tall with wrist-thick canes and four-petalled flowers, but it is really grown for its attractive young shoots, thorns and leaves.The Himalayan Musk Rose, R. brunonii, is a huge shrub, 4 to 5 m high, with a five-petalled delicate white flower, with a sweet delicate fragrance, and 1 cm long, bright red hips in late Summer through Autumn to Winter, providing bird food. It is partially evergreen in warm climates. R. webbiana (1st two photos) also comes from the Himalayas, while R. rubus hails from Central and Western China (3rd photo). Rosa dupontii is another favourite tall species with single white flowers and gold stamens.Largest of all, Rosa gigantea, climbs up to 20 m high into trees in NE India, SW China and the foothills of the Himalayas.
- Rugosa Roses: Very tough roses from Japan with deciduous, rugose, deeply-veined foliage; attractive continuous scented single flowers; and plump red hips, which look terrific in dried flower arrangements in Autumn and Winter. Best grown en masse as a hedge or bank, they are also used in land reclamation projects in Europe. They grow well on sandy soils and have no diseases or pruning or spraying requirements. The photos below show in order: Scabrosa, Mme Georges Bruant, Frau Dagmar Hastrup and Pink Grootendorst, one of the Rugosa cultivars.
- Hybrid Musks: Two of my fravourites are Buff Beauty (1st 2 photos)and Penelope (photos 3 to 5.) The ACTO Heritage Garden is certainly a wonderful collection of the original Species Roses and an excellent reference point if you are considering growing Species Roses in your garden. All of them are tough, drought-resistant and disease-free and require no pruning, but they do need space and a temperate climate. This shrub of Lord Penzance definitely needs room!
Adelaide Botanic Garden
North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000
Open 7.15 am Monday to Friday; 9 am Weekends and Public Holidays. Closes between 5 pm (Winter) and 7 pm (High Summer). For times, consult the website. Free entrance.
I love visiting the Adelaide Botanic Garden, whenever I visit Adelaide. It is such a well-planned city with all the major institutions: the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Stae Library of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, the University of Adelaide, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens, all side by side the length of North Terrace and backing onto the landscaped gardens and lawns edging the Torrens River (Karrawirra Parri). There are two sections of the Adelaide Botanic Garden of particular note for the rose lover: the International Rose Garden and the National Rose Trial Garden, both designated by the reference E23 on the map from the official brochure below:International Rose Garden
Hackney Rd, Adelaide, SA
This 1.5 hectare garden holds 2500 roses, with special areas devoted to Australian-bred roses; Single roses; Heritage Roses; Pillar Roses; and Charity Roses (the proceeds of their sale going back into specified charities) like Olympic Gold and The Childrens’ Rose. It includes a sunken garden; a circular rose garden; several pergolas and a series of huge arches, covered in climbing roses. Here are some photos from our visits in 2008 and 2014.
There are Teas; Hybrid Teas; Cluster-Flowered Roses; Shrub Roses; and Miniature Roses, Standards, Weepers and Climbers. The climbers on the huge arches include: Mermaid, a hybrid of R. bracteata, bred in UK in 1917;
Adelaide d’Orléans, a hybrid of R. sempervirens, bred in France in 1826; R. brunonii, a Species rose, discovered in the Himalayas in 1922; R. gigantea, another Species Rose from the Himalayas 1889; Lamarque, a Noisette rose bred in France in 1830; Note the variation in colour according to the different light.
and Climbing Lorraine Lea, a Climbing Tea, bred by Alister Clark in Australia in 1932.Here are photos of some of the Tea Roses: Devoniensis 1838 UK; Triomphe du Luxembourg 1840 France; Catherine Mermet 1869 France; Anna Olivier 1872 France; and Jean Ducher 1873 France. Hybrid Teas include: Mrs. Oakley Fisher 1921 UK; and Sally Holmes, a Shrub Rose, bred in UK in 1976. R. X dupontii is a Species Rose from before 1817.Hybrid Musks include: Kathleen 1922; Cornelia 1925; and Felicia 1928, all bred in the United Kingdom. For more information, see: http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/botanicgardens/visit/adelaide-botanic-garden/gardens/international-rose-garden
National Rose Trial Garden
Started in 1996 to determine which roses, imported from the Northern Hemisphere and not yet for sale, are best suited for the Australian climate. It is the first of its kind in Australia (and the 3rd of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere) and is a joint venture between the Botanic Gardens of South Australia, the National Rose Society of Australia Inc. and the rose industry. Roses are trialled over two growing seasons (2 years), receiving equal treatment. Depending on the rose type, 3, 4 0r 6 plants are trialled. They are identified only by a code number, all other details only known by the trial coordinator and the agent, who entered the rose in the trial. A panel of 10 experienced rosarians allocate points every month of the 2 years, according to health; vigour; hardiness; pest and disease tolerance; growth habit; impact of display; beauty of blooms; abundance of flowering; fragrance and novelty. The best roses receive an award and are then sold in nurseries to the general public. Some of the winners can be seen on the following website: http://www.nationalrosetrialgarden.net.au/.
While in the city, it is worth consulting the following website, which details other rose venues: http://www.adelaidecitycouncil.com/assets/rose-garden-walking-trail.pdf.
I always love visiting the Heritage Rose Garden on the Northern bank of the Torrens River between Frome Rd and the University footbridge. Established between 1996 and 1999 by the Adelaide City Council and the South Australian chapter of Heritage Roses Australia Incorporated, its terraced rose beds showcase 1200 Heritage Roses, including Teas, Chinas and Polyanthas, while Climbing Teas and Noisettes festoon pillars and arches. It is a very picturesque spot! Here are some more photos including Mutabilis (photos 4 and 6) :Next week, I am describing the Gorgeous Gallicas!