South Australia is a wonderful spot to visit if you love Old Roses! In last month’s post, we explored the roses of the Mt Lofty Botanic Garden and the Adelaide Botanic Garden. In this post, we will be visiting the Barossa Old Rose Repository and the Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens of the Waite Institute, two very different gardens, but united in their love of old roses. We were fortunate enough to visit both rose gardens twice – our first time on our way home from our camping trip around Australia and our second visit as part of a specific rose holiday to South Australia in October 2014. Please note that the photos are interspersed with the text on a general basis and are not necessarily pictures of roses mentioned in the prior text, unless where specifically indicated.
Barossa Old Rose Repository
Hannay Crescent, off Murray St
Angaston, SA 5353
Free and open dawn till dusk.
This garden is quite special, as it is the only one of its kind in Australia, being a repository of locally-grown, pre-loved and forgotten roses.Established in 2003 on a small triangular section of level land behind the village green, the garden is bordered by a creek (with a small wooden footbridge to a former orchard and vegetable garden), a tributary and Hannay Crescent. The first 24 roses were planted on their own roots in October 2003 by the newly-formed Barossa and Beyond regional group of Heritage Roses in Australia Inc. One hundred-year old redgum posts were salvaged from Mader’s Hayshed, Flaxman’s Valley, after it blew down in a storm in 2004. Eleven posts were installed in July 2005, with chain swags between them for climbers and ramblers to scramble over. In 2007, an interpretive sign was installed, a brochure produced, two jacaranda trees were planted in the lawn and funds raised for a wooden table and benches.The garden was developed and is maintained by the Barossa and Beyond regional group of Heritage Roses in Australia Inc. Their aim was to find and preserve the old roses of the Barossa region, which were at danger of being lost, because of the increased use of herbicides to control roadside and cemetery vegetation, and to educate the public about the importance of old rose conservation for future generations. One of the founding members and current coordinator of the group is Old Rose conservator, Patricia Toolan, who was given a Churchill Fellowship in 2002 to study techniques and strategies for the preservation of old rose and plant varieties in cemeteries overseas (United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and the United States of America). She has written an article about the development of the Barossa Old Rose Repository, titled ‘The Scent of Memory’, which was published in Volume 19, Number 2 (September/October 2007; pages 16 – 19) of Australian Garden History. See: https://www.churchilltrust.com.au/media/fellows/Toolan_Patricia_2002-1.pdf. She also supplied a number of the roses, grown on their own roots, in the repository.Many of the roses in the repository have been propagated from cuttings, taken from ‘mother plants’, which were brought to Australia by the early German and English settlers of the region. These mother plants have been found in cemeteries, along roadsides, in vineyards and on farms, and in the gardens of old homesteads and cottages. They include rose bushes, ramblers and climbing roses. Many are once-flowering only, their peak being from Spring to early Summer, and all have wonderful stories to tell…!!! Note: The letters ‘ROR’ stand for’ Renamed Old Rose’. I rather like the RORs– they convey such a sense of history!Mrs. Heggie’s Red Tea ROR, Almerta Orchard Pink ROR and Fortune’s Double Yellow 1845 (see photo below) all came from the Almerta Homestead, a small vineyard owned by the Heggie family in Flaxman’s Valley in the early 1900s. Lady Hillingdon 1910; Cardinal de Richelieu 1840 (Miss Hatch’s Gallica ROR) : see photos below; and Miss Hatch’s Cabbage ROR (also known as the Habermann Cemetery HP Mengler Grave ROR and Gomersal Cemetery HP ROR) were propagated from cuttings from an old cottage garden in the main street of neighbouring town, Nurioopta, belonging to a Miss Hatch, who died in 1997.The Ebenezer Cemetery Pink ROR came from cuttings taken from a sickly sprayed rose (which has since died) on an old grave and is thought to be the Hybrid Perpetual, Caroline de Sansal, 1849. Anna Olivier 1872 is another rose propagated from a very old rose, growing on the side of the old butchery building at an early Barossa property at Krondorf and which has also since died.The ABC Howard Quarry Yellow Tea (possibly the Tea Rose, Souvenir de Pierre Notting 1902) was found intertwined with honeysuckle in an abandoned old garden near Angaston. Here are 3 photos of this lovely yellow rose below (Cardinal de Richelieu: bottom left corner of Photo 1). The Anlaby Apricot Rambler and Anlaby Station Yellow Hybrid Tea ROR were sourced from Anlaby Station (Kapunda, Barossa), the oldest Merino stud in South Australia.There were 63 roses in the Barossa Old Rose Repository when Patricia Toolan wrote her article in 2007, including :
Gloire de Rosomanes 1825
General Jacqueminot 1853
Comtesse de Labarthe, also known as Duchesse de Brabant and Countess Bertha 1857 (South Rhine Cemetery Pink Tea ROR)
Mme Alfred Carrière 1875
Mlle. Augustine Guinoisseau 1889
Maman Cochet 1892
Turner’s Crimson Rambler 1893
Climbing Mme Caroline Testout 1901 (Springton Deserted House Back Drive ROR)
William R Smith 1908 (Edna Stapleton’s Cochet Tea ROR) and
Mrs Herbert Stevens 1910 (Mr Heath’s White Tea ROR).For more photos of roses at the Barossa Old Rose Repository, it is worth looking at their Facebook site.
Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Gardens
Waite Historic Precinct
Fullarton Rd, between Cross Rd and Claremont Avenue
Urrbrae SA 5063
7km south of CBD Adelaide
Open dawn till dusk every day except fire bans. Free entry.
Another wonderful spot to enjoy Old Roses, this garden traces the development of the rose from 1900 to today and includes over 200 varieties of roses, with roses significant to each decade. It is located at Urrbrae House, the original home of Peter Waite, a prominent pastoralist, who bequeathed the property to the University of Adelaide on his death in 1923, to be used for agricultural research and a public park. I have already discussed the Waite Historic Precinct in my post on Education Gardens in May 2016 (see : https://candeloblooms.com/2016/05/10/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-education-gardens/) so for now, I will be focusing solely on the rose garden.The original rose garden of Urrbrae House was to the west of the current site and included a long rose arbour, built from timber posts and metal tube work, which extended from the house to Claremont Avenue and was covered with pale yellow, double climbing roses, as well as a rose border on the front lawn of the house. While the gold rose below is not the original climbing rose on the arbour, it is still a beautiful rose, which graces the corner of the house. By 1956, the garden was overgrown with Kikuya grass and had deteriorated badly with many of the roses suffering wilt and dieback. Only two of the original roses from Peter Waites’ time survived: a hedge of Cécile Brünner and a Mme Alfred Carrière, both near the house. In 1959, a new trial rose garden was established to the north-east of Urrbrae House by the SA Rose Society under the instigation of Alex Ross to replace the diseased roses, but this second garden was replaced by a new teaching wing in 1972.
In 1991, to celebrate the centenary of Urrbrae House (1891), a new rose garden was designed by Deane Ross and was developed in collaboration with Ross Roses and the Heritage Roses in Australia Society Inc. Located on its present site south of Urrbrae House, and incorporating the original rose arbour, this first stage of the Twentieth Century and Heritage Rose Garden, opened in 1993, has a formal layout and features earlier varieties of heritage roses. Roses were donated from Ross Roses and those that were no longer commercially available were sourced from England, America and New Zealand.
I love the circular garden, which inspired our own Soho Bed.The long rose arbour and other arches are equally impressive, especially during peak flowering season in October/ November, although there are roses between September and May. The 4th photo is Cornelia (UK, 1925) and the 5th photo Mermaid (UK, 1917).The second stage of the garden (northern end), opened in 1996, was developed by Vieturs Cielens and Susan Phillips. It has a more informal, contemporary design with low mounds, ponds and an early 18th century cast-iron fountain called ‘Temperance’. Another structure in the rose garden is an armillary sphere sundial, made by Margaret Folkard and John Ward, of Sundials Australia.Here are a few more photos of specific roses in the garden in order: Constance Spry (Shrub Rose, UK, 1961); Hiawatha (Rambler, USA, 1904); Sunlit (Hybrid Tea, Australia, 1937); Peace, also known as Mme A. Meilland (Hybrid Tea, France, 1935); General MacArthur (Hybrid Tea, USA, 1905); and Papa Meilland (Hybrid Tea, France, 1963).