Roses have always been an integral part of cottage gardens, not just for their beauty, scent and visual appeal, but also their culinary and medicinal properties and their use in a variety of scented home-made home and bath products like attar of roses; rose oil; rose water; rose hip tea; rose hip jam and jelly; rose hip syrup; and crystallized rose petals.
After my post last month on books about cottage gardening in Part One : Specific Types of Gardens (see: https://candeloblooms.com/2017/03/21/books-on-specific-types-of-gardens-part-one-cutting-gardens-cottage-gardens-and-herb-gardens/?frame-nonce=dde364e0d8), I thought it would be very appropriate to discuss some of my favourite cottage gardens, which grow Old Roses. These include: Gamble Cottage in South Australia, which we visited as part of our Old Rose holiday in October 2014; Zwiebel Farmhouse, which we briefly visited towards the end of our stay in Victoria and finally, the Heide Kitchen Gardens I and II, which we visited a number of times during our Victorian years. The cottage gardens at the Alister Clark Memorial Rose Garden at Bulla and Red Cow Farm, Mittagong, deserve their very own posts later on in the year.
296 Main Road (and the corner of Dorham Rd)
Blackwood, South Australia
Cottage open 3rd Sunday of each month, February to November, from 2pm to 4 pm or by appointment; Cost is a gold coin donation; Afternoon tea available.
Garden open all times, every day of the year. Guided tours are available on open days for a gold coin donation. There is a small plant nursery with plants for sale.
Here is the map on the official brochure:Situated in the Coromandel Valley, in the part-rural hills suburb of Blackwood, 16 km from the Adelaide CBD, Gamble Cottage was built in 1902 for Joseph Gamble, an orchardist who worked at the Government Experimental Orchard (which was set up in the late 1800s to trial fruit trees, which might be suitable for South Australian conditions), and his wife Harriet Victoria Gamble (nee Knight). They married in 1890 and had four daughters, two of whom married and moved away (Dorothy and Isabel) and two, Clara and Edith, who never married and lived there most of their life. They grew many old cottage garden favourites, from cuttings and seeds, which they swapped with neighbours and friends. Harriet died in 1940 (aged 74 years) and Joseph in 1945 (aged 78 years). The Gamble sisters well outlived their parents, Edith dying in 1990 (aged 82) and Clara attaining the ripe old age of 104 years, before dying in 1994. As they became increasingly frail and unable to maintain the garden, the sisters bequeathed the cottage and garden to the City of Mitcham in 1982 for use by the local community. The cottage is now maintained by the Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch of the National Trust South Australia, while the garden is cared for by the Friends of Gamble Cottage, an active volunteer group, which holds working bees each week from 9am to 11am each Tuesday morning and bimonthly meetings on the second Tuesday, held at the cottage at 11am, from February on.The sandstone cottage has three main rooms and a hallway, with a timber-framed add-on kitchen and bathroom, which is now used to store the archives of the Coromandel Valley and Districts Branch for local history research. It is also part museum, the cottage being furnished in an early 1900s style, and is available for hire to the public for exhibitions and displays; meetings and parties; and small wedding groups of up to 30 guests.The Edwardian cottage garden is a rare surviving example of a true working class cottage garden, based on small formal garden beds, planted with old-fashioned roses; hardy shrubs; bulbs; perennials and annuals. It was faithfully restored in 1986 as a South Australian Jubilee 150 project with advice from both Clara and Edith. The original flower beds and a small pine forest to the south side of the garden still exist.There are a large number of Alister Clark roses planted, including Borderer; Daydream; Diana Allen; Fairlie Rede; Lady Huntingfield; Sunlit ; Squatter’s Dream; Sunny South; Marjorie Palmer; Ringlet; and Lorraine Lee (see below for both climbing and bush forms).Other old roses include: Monsieur Tillier (photo 1); Perle d’Or (photo 2) and Perfect, an early Hybrid Tea, bred by Sam McGredy III (1893-1934) in 1932 (photos 3 and 4). His father Sam McGredy II (1878-1926) bred Tea rose Mrs Herbert Stevens in 1910.In 2016, the formal garden beds at the front and to the east of the cottage were planted up with blue, yellow, pink and orange nemesias, daisies, red and white abutilon, cosmos, mini agapanthus, violets, multihued osteospermums, alyssium, lobelias, convolvulus, geraniums, aquilegas and heucheras. Garden plants also include alyssum, salvias, penstemon, pelagoniums, nepeta, campanula, California poppy, cistus and Japanese anemones and roses. It is worth consulting: http://gamblegarden.org.au/gardenreports/ for an update on all the garden activities.
Many of the shrubs have yellow/ green or silver/ green foliage and have yellow, orange or purple flowers, like Crepe Myrtle; Port Wine Magnolia; Ginger Lily and Duranta repens.
There is a Viburnum hedge along the fence and a lovely old Irish Strawberry Tree, Arbutus unedo, in the front garden on the left of the photo below.The garden has been expanded into the side and rear gardens, where less formal plantings of shrubs, trees and hardy perennials have been favoured and at the back of the property is an orchard of heritage fruit and nut trees.Here are some more photos of roses in the garden.More photos of this beautiful garden can be seen at: http://gamblegarden.org.au/static/index.html.
100 Gardenia Rd
Open 2nd Sunday each month 1pm to 4 pm; $3 adult; 50c per child.
Guided tours by appointment Ph (03) 9464 5062
Part of the Westgarthtown Historic Precinct, a historic dairy farming settlement 16 km north of Melbourne, established by German and Wendish immigrants in the 1850s and now engulfed by residential suburb of Thomastown and Lalor in the City of Whittlesea. During the 19th century, five million people left Germany, with over 5000 immigrants arriving in Australia between 1838 and 1850, under a migration scheme initiated by Melbourne merchant, William Westgarth, because he had been so impressed by ‘the industry, frugality, sobriety and general good conduct’ of the German settlers in South Australia. The Wends hail from Lusatia, which was divided up into three German provinces.Christian and Sophia Ziebell emigrated to Australia in 1850 and built a large L-shaped stone farmhouse on their 102 acre farm, named ‘The Pines’ for their family of 9 children between 1851 and 1856. In 1885, Christian returned to Germany for a visit and returned with seeds, plants, cuttings, trees, tools and household furniture. They had a huge vegetable garden and orchard, which kept them all in fruit and vegetables. They made all their own cheese, butter, soap and preserved meat. Produce was preserved – vegetables pickled and salted and the fruit bottled or made into jams and jellies, and any surplus was transported by horse and cart to be sold at the Victoria Markets in Melbourne, along with the regular sales of butter, cream, eggs and smoked meat. Note that there was no electricity, refrigeration, gas, mains water or sewerage at that time. Originally, herbs and small vegetables were grown with the flowers, but as the vegetable and herb gardens and orchard expanded, the flower garden took over the areas adjacent to the house. The house passed through 5 generations of the Ziebell family from Christian and Sophie to son August and his wife Auguste, to their son Carl (who died in 1940) and his wife Dorothea, who lived on in the farmhouse till her death in 1969, aged 96 years. Carl and Dorothea had 10 children and when Carl died, 3 unmarried daughters were still living with Dorothea. A fourth widowed daughter, Sylvia Adams, joined them with four young children in 1932, her daughter Sylvia only 6 years old. Dorothea and Carl passed on their love of gardening to all their children, who each developed their own productive flower and vegetable gardens and orchards from slips, cuttings, seeds and seedlings from the original farmhouse garden, a fact which enabled the replacement of many of the plants lost over the years. During the 1950s, fuchsias replaced the grapevines on the verandahs and two tree ferns replaced an old loquat tree.The original orchard and vegetable gardens were sold and converted to housing in the 1970s. Sylvia Adams died in 1990, aged 90, and the property was sold to the City of Whittlesea in 1993. The Westgarthtown Historic Precinct includes: Ziebell’s Farmhouse and Garden, including a bath house, smoke house, cart shed and stone barn (the other outbuildings, including the dairy, cowshed, stables and grain store were across Gardenia Rd); the adjacent Lutheran Reserve including the Thomastown Lutheran Church 1856, the oldest operating Lutheran church in Australia; the Lutheran Cemetery 1850; drystone walls; and four more original bluestone farmhouses owned and built by early German pioneers: Wuchatsch’s Farmhouse 1850s; Matzahn’s Farmhouse 1850 – 1860; Siebel’s Farmhouse 1860; and Graff’s Farmhouse 1873. See: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/sites/.
All can be visited- see: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/visit/index.htm.
Of all of these farmhouses, Ziebell’s Farmhouse is the oldest and the largest dwelling on the largest area of land. The L-shaped farmhouse and barn are built from stone in the style of the simple solid European vernacular buildings, derived from German tradition. They were both built from stone gathered from the surrounding paddocks: bluestone rubble and other local stone, the house having walls 61 cm thick. The hipped roof of the farmhouse, whose steep pitch allowed for a spacious upper level attic, was originally made of wooden shingles, cut from local Drooping Sheoak, Yellow Box, Acacia and Black Wattle. The barn has a hipped roof of iron shingles. Walls on the eastern and southern sides of the courtyard were rendered with lime mortar. The farmhouse is surrounded by an L-shaped verandah, which affords protection from the northerly and westerly winds. There are external doorways from the main bedroom, kitchen and entry hall onto the verandahs and all windows (except the northern side of the house) have wonderful views out onto the garden.The cottage and garden are owned and maintained by the City of Whittlesea and are both on Victoria’s Heritage Register. See: http://vhd.heritagecouncil.vic.gov.au/places/3687 for a statement of their national and state significance. The gardens were opened twice as part of the Open Gardens Australia scheme in 2012 and 2013, as well as the inaugural Open Gardens Victoria program in 2015. See: http://www.opengardensvictoria.org.au/uploads/documents/Ziebell%20Revised%20Notes.pdf.
The 1200 square metre garden has large informal gardens of flowers, roses, shrubs, fruit trees and a vegetable patch and a semi-formal circular flower garden in the centre. It has been managed by the Friends of Westgarthtown, including many descendants of the Ziebel family, since 1995. Gillian Borrack, the garden coordinator, has documented the garden extensively, including a comprehensive conservation analysis and management plan to preserve its authenticity. She also coordinates the combined volunteer and council support of the garden. For a detailed list of plants in each garden bed, see her article on: http://www.westgarthtown.org.au/publications/documents/ZF-GardenGuideSupplement.pdf. When the property was bought by the council in the 1990s, the gardens were quite rundown and neglected and the Friends of Westgarthtown restored the garden with the experience, knowledge and guidance of 5th generation family member, Sylvia Schultz, until her death in 2014. The timber picket fence and some of the arbours were restored and a modern watering system installed, the garden previously maintained using recycled dish and bath water and water drawn by hand pump from a deep, stone-lined well, and later stored in rainwater tanks. There were new plantings of the original varieties of apricots, plums, peaches, pears, lemons, cherries and apples, as well as a mulberry and an elderberry tree, and lost plants were replaced with cutting and seeds donated by family members.The garden contains a 130 year old Cécile Brünner rose and over 60 rose varieties, including many rare and historic varieties, a large number imported by the family in the 1800s. There are over 400 plants, including a rare Queen of Sheba climber. The L-shaped verandah shelters the enclosed flower garden from the strong hot northerly winds and sun and contains many rare, scented and delicate treasures. The garden is basically square in design with a central circular garden bed and four paths on the main axis leading back to the verandah or paths, except for the southern axis, which finishes under the wisteria pergola.The central circular bed contains a central Queen Elizabeth rose, with cactus dahlias; mixed aquilegia; pink and white nerines; lupins; larkspur; lobelia; love-in-the-mist; primula; kiss-me-quick; Chinese forget-me-knots; petunias; violets and violas; daffodils and Dutch iris.
The shady areas of the garden contain hydrangeas; tree ferns and ferns; fuchsias; cinerarias; justicas; rhododendrons and azaleas; begonias; pelargoniums; violets; hellebores; verbenas; delphiniums and border pinks, while foxgloves; penstemons; perennial phlox; forget-me-knots; carnations; picotees; hollyhocks and delphiniums, Russell lupins; valerian; poppies; calendulas; English lavender; with a white peony and an oleander growing in the areas of full sun.
Because there are many well-established bulbs, corms, rhizomes and underground root stocks, this is definitely a no-dig garden, so dense plantings of prolific self-seeders and mulching is used to deter weeds.There are 10 further gardens with so many more plants, too numerous to mention here, suffice to say that it is probably best to consult the last web site mentioned, so I will only mention some of the other roses planted: Christian Dior; Pascali; Doris Downs; a Yellow Banksia rose and many David Austin roses.And finally, there is Heide and I know that I have already discussed the garden in quite some depth in a previous post- see:https://candeloblooms.com/2016/02/09/favourite-gardens-regularly-open-to-the-public-historic-homes-and-gardens/ , but given that Old Roses were Sunday Reid’s passion and she grew over 250 of them at Heide, I have to revisit this beautiful garden, especially Heide Kitchen Garden II, where she grew many of her roses, as well as herbs, flowers and vegetables- the quintessential cottage garden! So that is my specific focus in this post!
Heide Kitchen Gardens I and II
7 Templestowe Rd.
Tuesday – Sunday and public holidays 10 am to 5 pm. Gardens free. Garden tours available – see: https://www.heide.com.au/events/garden-tour.
Part of the Heide Museum of Modern Art 20 minutes from Melbourne CBD and home of art patrons, John and Sunday Reed , from 1934 until their deaths in 1981, the story of Heide is recounted on: https://www.heide.com.au/about/heide-story. The story of Heide’s garden is also told in more depth in the book: ‘Sunday’s Garden : Growing Heide’ by Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan 2012. See: https://www.gardenclinic.com.au/how-to-grow-article/sunday-s-garden-growing-heide?pid=44211. Information about the different cottage garden plants can also be gleaned from Tuesday’s Tip at: http://heidetuesdaytip.tumblr.com/.
John and Sunday bought an old neglected 15 acre (6 hectares) dairy farm, which they transformed into a wonderful garden, including a walled garden, a French-inspired kitchen garden and a wild garden near Heide I, the original pink weatherboard farmhouse, restored in a French Provincial style and the famous Heide II kitchen garden, in which Sunday worked daily until just before her death in 1981. I have always loved visiting these gardens! The original Heide I kitchen garden provides year-round fresh seasonal organic produce for Café Heide, but I’m afraid Heide II with all its old roses is my favourite!The kitchen garden at Heide II was modelled on the English-style cottage garden tradition, with old-fashioned roses, herbaceous perennials and culinary herbs and vegetables. It was developed on the site of an old bull enclosure, an area with fertile alluvial soil down on the river flat, with none of the difficult clay or shale of Heide I. The garden was surrounded by a four foot high picket fence and a shingle-roofed potting shed was built nearby.Because the site was often inundated with flood waters, the higher western half of the garden was devoted to vegetables, while the lower eastern half contained herbs, flowers and roses, which tolerated the odd wet feet. There was a central path between the two sections with a timber arbour, over which grew the striped old Bourbon rose, Variegata di Bologna (photo below), which was under-planted with lavenders, sage, pale blue rosemary and borage.The western narrow parallel vegetable beds had perimeter paths and grew a wide variety of vegetables from asparagus, globe and Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkin and corn; broad beans, climbing beans and peas; and rhubarb, salsify and shallots; to a range of salad leaves and greens, including endive, French sorrel, land cress, mignonette, mâche, spinach and Swiss chard. She grew garlic for its decorative flower heads and seed pods, rather than its culinary properties.The eastern section of the garden had a traditional square design with four sets of successively smaller beds, connected by one long diagonal path. Sunday loved her herbs, which she propagated from seeds, slips and cuttings and roots, swapped with friends or smuggled illicitly into the country from the 1930s on, but you will have to read Lesley and Kendrah’s book for more details!They included commonly used herbs like sweet basil, sage, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon and chives to more unusual herbs like mandrake and hemlock. The edges of the paths were softened with many different varieties of thyme: Caraway, English, French, and Lemon and its variegated form ‘Magic Carpet’ and cultivars like Orange Peel; Silver Queen (Lemon Silver); Silver Posie; White; and Woolly. She grew three types of chamomile : English; Lawn and Ox-Eye and every type of mint she could find: Apple and Variegated Apple Mint; Woolly Mint; Curly Mint; Corn Mint; Capsicum Mint; Eau de Cologne Mint; Ginger Mint; Horse Mint or Wild Mint; Pennyroyal; Peppermint and Water Mint. Perennial herbs included agrimony, tansy and lemon verbena, while annual, seasonal and biennial herbs included parsley, cumin, coriander and chervil and the flowering herbs: borage, lavender and bergamot were grown for their decorative visual appeal.
In amongst the herbs, she grew English cottage flowers, including border pinks, primroses and columbines; delphiniums, foxgloves, hollyhocks and poppies; marguerite daisies, geraniums and pelargoniums of several varieties; forget-me-nots and a range of violets of different colours; Japanese anemones and periwinkles; bearded iris and ranunculi; and jasmine.
But it was the roses that Sunday loved above all else! Especially the old-fashioned rambling kind like R. fortuniana, whose tree trunk thick stem clambers through Pittosporum tenuifolium; the Kordes shrub rose, Raubritter, growing in an old terracotta urn at the end of a winding path under a eucalyptus stand; R. gigantea covering the bridge over the rill, the base stock of so many of Alister Clark’s roses; R. laevigata climbing over the fence; and the Species roses: R. brunonii; R. moschata; R. multiflora watsoniana; R. wilmottiae; and R. bracteata. She disliked the more modern David Austin hybrids, despite their reliability and constancy of flowering, unlike her successor Barrett Reid, who planted many David Austins at Heide I between 1981 to 1995.
After 80 years of rose cultivation at Heide, 150 of the 250 rose bushes, which Sunday planted, remain. They were grown from cuttings and plants, sourced overseas, as well as from Australian nurseries, specializing in old-fashioned roses and Australian rose breeder, Alister Clark, himself, who bred Lorraine Lee (1st two photos); Squatter’s Dream (3rd photo) and Black Boy, all grown in the kitchen garden of Heide II.Sunday inherited her love of roses from her childhood at Balholmen and Merthen. Not longer after she and John moved to Heide, they invited famous Australian rose breeder Alister Clark to identify the pre-existing roses on the property. In 1938, an early consignment of wild and heritage roses included: R. foetida; R. lutea punicea; R. persica; Fortune’s Double Yellow (1st photo); Gloire de Dijon; Aimée Vibert and Devoniensis (2nd photo).During the 1960s and 1970s, further plantings included R. centifolia (photo 1); Chateau de Clos Vougeot (photo 2); and very early Hybrid Tea, La France; a later climbing Hybrid Tea Étoile de Hollande and Floribunda rose, Warrior.Here is a copy of her June 1967 planting list, taken from ‘Sunday’s Garden : Growing Heide’ :
In 1973, she ordered 15 roses, including Chapeau de Napoléon (1st photo), Sissinghurst Castle (2nd photo); and Mme Hardy.Sunday grew a plethora of old roses at Heide II, especially the kitchen garden of Heide II, where the rugosas provided huge red hips for rosehip tea and rosehip jelly, jam and syrup, while the highly-scented petals of Bourbon rose, Mme Isaac Pereire (2nd photo) were perfect for making potpourri. Other roses in Heide II include: Charles Mallerin; Mme Sancy de Parabère; Frühlingsmorgen and Tea roses, Mrs Herbert Stevens, which grows amongst valerian, soapwort, silver beet and zucchini, and Safrano, which thrives amongst the feverfew and thymes.One of her most famous roses is Mutabilis, which was immortalized in a painting by Sidney Nolan in 1945 at the height of their love affair. Another sentimental favourite was Duchesse de Brabant, grown from a cutting taken from the grave of her mother Ethel Baillieu, who died in 1932, and planted in the walled perennial border of Heide I.Other favourites included the Bourbons: La Reine Victoria; Mme Pierre Oger; and Souvenir de la Malmaison, both bush and climbing forms (1st photo), as well as the Hybrid Perpetual, Reine des Violettes (2nd photo).Other famous old roses grown include The Apothecary’s Rose, R. gallica officinalis (one of John’s favourites); Cardinal de Richelieu (photo 1); both Tuscany and Tuscany Superb; the Autumn Damask (photo 2); Ispahan; Cuisse de Nymphe émue; and R. indica major.If you are interested to learn more about Sunday’s roses at Heide, it is well worth reading the book, which includes comprehensive plant lists of all the trees, roses and herbs in the back. Suffice to say, we certainly shared similar tastes when it came to choosing Old Roses. Albertine; Alister Stella Grey (top centre); Archiduc Joseph (top right); Cécile Brunner (top left); Celeste; Cornelia; Devoniensis; Fantin Latour; Geranium; Jaune Deprez; Lamarque (bottom right); Mme Alfred Carrière; Mme Louis Lévêque; Maxima; Mutabilis; Penelope; Rosa Mundi; Roseraie de l’Hay (bottom middle); York and Lancaster; and Stanwell Perpetual (bottom left) are but a few shared loves.
I will finish with a quote by Barrett Reed, describing Sunday’s kitchen garden at Heide II, which says it all : ‘A poem of a garden and as much a treasure as the most treasured paintings’.
P.S. Note: Some of the photos of individual roses in my section on Heide are from my collection (home or garden visits), rather than Heide necessarily, and are there solely to illustrate the particular roses mentioned.