The heritage-listed Saumarez Homestead at Armidale has earned another historic milestone that marks its claim to fame as a true tourist icon, the State’s Tourism Minister and Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has announced.
Mr Marshall visited the homestead recently to congratulate volunteers and staff on their latest achievement – elevation to the coveted Hall of Fame status by the online travel website TripAdvisor.
The latest accolade comes after the National Trust property on the outskirts of Armidale ranked in TripAdvisor’s Award of Excellence annual list for the past five years.
Mr Marshall said the award achievement would considerably add to the tourist potential of Saumarez – especially on the back of a $2.77 million upgrade project announced only six months ago.
“Saumarez is one of our tourist gems and the upgrade project, coupled with the latest travel tick of excellence, will drive more tourism numbers to this region,” Mr Marshall said.
“It will make one of our regional heritage icons a place that’s also significant as a tourist attraction both on a state and national scale, and that’s great news.”
Heritage Rose Garden Saumarez Homestead Completed – thanks to a generous grant from the Armidale Regional Council, the second and final stage of our Heritage Rose Garden has been completed by local contractors and volunteers from the Australian Garden History Society. AGHS members instigated the project and have worked tirelessly to make the rose garden an added attraction to Saumarez.
The nucleus of the amazing garden in Stage 1 (Heritage Roses) came from a generous donation, in 2011, from the late Miss Catherine MacLean, a long time Armidale resident and dedicated rosarian who died earlier this year. The aim was to preserve her collection of old roses for the enjoyment of many in the future. The collection includes over 500 roses representing each of the main rose cultivar groups, bred before 1930. This garden was opened in 2015.
Botanist Dr Ian Telford designed both gardens – Stage 1 (Heritage Roses) and Stage 2 (The Rose Breeders’ Garden) on the site of the old homestead orchard. The first garden is laid out in a formal Tudor English Rose pattern, featuring 40 rose beds within a layout of concentric circles, outlined by gravel paths. The roses in this garden trace the history of rose breeding through displays from each of the main parent rose species groups and is already a flourishing success.
The second smaller garden, the Rose Breeders’ Garden, traces the heritage or history of the rose. It consists of 214 roses representing significant, specific breeders’ roses from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Canada, United States of America, UK, Germany and France. The earliest rose breeders represented here date back to the early 1830s, continuing right through until the present day, including David Austin. Five Australian breeders have their own beds, including Alister Clark, Frank Reithmuller and local Olive Fitzhardinge.
Already showing great promise, the rose garden will be a sight to behold from mid November onwards, and will continue to flower through until Autumn.
Helen Nancarrow and Lynne Walker.