In the eighteen months since the Australian Garden History Society opened the Heritage Rose Garden at Saumarez Homestead, the garden has grown and flourished, attracting hundreds of visitors, as well as the attention of garden historians and writers, garden clubs, community organisations and visiting politicians.
It has also added an extra attraction to the already vibrant historic gardens and buildings which make up the National Trust complex at Armidale.
The development of Stage One of the garden, which was started because of the very generous donation of hundreds of heritage roses from local resident, Miss Catherine MacLean, has been instigated and continued by local members of the Australian Garden History Society. They have sourced the funding and provided the man power to install and maintain the hundreds of roses which are now thriving on the site of what was the old orchard at Saumarez.
They have done so with the help of local organisations including Back Track, Rotary, Lions and local businesses.
“The development of the Heritage Rose Garden Saumarez Homestead has already had an impact on broadening the demographic of visitors to Saumarez Homestead. In particular, garden clubs, from near and far, have come to Saumarez Homestead specifically to see the amazing collection of heritage roses that has been established here,” said Les Davis, Property Manager at Saumarez Homestead.
Now the Armidale Regional Council has approved funding of $43,656 to the Australian Garden History Society for the development of its Heritage Rose Garden Stage 2, which continues on from the design of Stage 1 by local AGHS member and UNE botanist, Dr Ian Telford.
Armidale Regional Council Administrator Dr Ian Tiley said that Armidale is home to the Northern NSW sub-branch of the Australian Garden History Society, which promotes awareness and conservation of significant gardens and cultural landscapes.
“This funding will enable the Society to complete the planned Heritage Rose Garden Project – a project which will have cultural, educational and economic benefits for the region,” Dr Tiley said.
Helen Oates, rose committee sub branch co-Chair of the Australian Garden History Society, said, “The completion of Stage 2 of the Heritage Rose Garden will allow the inclusion of roses from significant world rose breeders, with an emphasis on Australian breeders, conserving examples of roses which are considered at risk of being lost.” Helen added, “The garden will serve an educative botanical function, helping make the garden unique and promoting its national significance. We envisage this will assist our goal to develop an east coast Rose Trail, extending from Tasmania to Toowoomba, encouraging rose enthusiasts and other tourists to the region.“
The injection of significant funding by the Armidale Regional Council will enable the Northern NSW sub-branch of the Australian Garden History Society to complete the development of one of the most significant heritage rose gardens in the nation. This will contribute to the sustainability of Saumarez Homestead, a National Trust property, and also the Armidale region,” said Les Davis.
Work has already commenced, with the site being levelled, irrigation and edging installed and the structures will be installed in the next few weeks. It is envisaged that the garden will be completed by this time next year.
Over winter, the gardens, grounds and farm area only are open at Saumarez Homestead from 10am to 5pm daily.
On 2nd September 2017, tours of the house and the opening of the café will resume on weekends.
Entry tickets are available from Saumarez Homestead Office. Brochures and honesty box available when office unattended.
AGHS – Northern NSW.
Ph: 6775 0208.