Sunday, March 8, 2015

Admiring, judging and drooling over roses Down Under

'Crepuscule" at the Royal Botanic Gardens

Poppy, the prettiest flower in Australia
This past October we made a return trip to Australia to visit son Sam, his wife Hayley and new family member, Poppy. 


Hayley found us an amazing flat overlooking Sydney Harbour, which meant all the pleasures of the city were just a ferry ride or stroll away. 

 Our second day there we headed downtown for a tour of the Royal Botanic Gardens. This 70+ acre showplace was established in 1816 as the colony’s “veggie patch.” The parcel of land overlooks Farm Cove and offers a stunning view of the harbor and Sydney Opera House.

Pope John Paul II

It’s a very relaxing place to spend an afternoon and recover from jet lag. The entrance sign says: “Please walk on the grass. We also invite you to smell the roses, hug the trees, talk to the birds and picnic on the lawns.”

Mr. Lincoln
I made a beeline for the Palace Rose Garden, which features about 1800 bushes, all selected for their ability to thrive without pampering.  They use predatory insects to control pests, but the wasps on duty were falling down on the job. 

Never mind, the abundance of blooms made up for the aphids.

The Jamberoo show is the largest in New South Wales
The next day we set off on a trip to Kiama where I judged the New South Wales Rose Show in Jamberoo. Their rules for judging are very different from ours in the US, so I mainly watched and learned. Many of the entries were simply stunning.

'Glorious' (and it was)

While there I met fellow judge Mark McGuire who has won just about every prize in rosedom. He and wife Julie invited us to visit his magnificent downtown rose garden when we returned to Sydney.

 Mark’s garden called “Rose View” was created in 1993 and attracts visitors from Sydney, indeed from across the globe October through April. For his outstanding
contribution to the beauty of the area, he was awarded the North Sydney Achievement of Excellence.

'Brass Band'

In addition to the display in the main garden, Mark has a number of potted roses that have not had fresh soil or fertilizer for over two decades. They were blooming their heads off.

Oh, and if the sight of all these roses wasn't enough of a treat for the senses, you can also see the harbor from his front garden.

'Evelyn Fison', 'Scarlet Red' and 'Cherry Parfait'
Another amazing vista in amazing Australia.


Les said...

Besides aphids, did you notice any signs of fungus and foliage issues like we get here? I imagine their climate might be more conducive for healthier roses.

Lynn Hunt said...

Les, there was definitely some disease on some roses. The folks I talked with said they deal with many of the issues we do in the US. I didn't include the aphid photo because it was pretty horrific. I think the climate in New Zealand is better for roses and the Australian rosarians would be the first to agree. It gets terribly hot in Sydney.

Sunil Patel said...

Hello Lynn, Mark's garden looks incredible and I can only try and imagine how incredible the fragrance from all those roses baking in Australian sun would be. It's made me look somewhat pensively at the small patch of seven bare root roses I put in this year, which are only just breaking bud and showing signs of life.

Lynn Hunt said...

Sunil, you are so right about the fragrance. After getting off the ferry, we weren't sure which way to go so we just started walking and smelled the garden before we saw it! Just spectacular! I can't wait to see your seven in bloom. They are just the first of many more to come in your garden!

Teresa Byington said...

Lynn, all I am seeing right now are ugly winter canes as I trim my roses... So what a feast to the eyes this post is! I have to say, my eyes keeps going beyond the roses to the beautiful Poppy! 😘

Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you Teresa! What a treat to enjoy the family and all these amazing roses as well. But Poppy has already grown so much since we were there in late October. Guess we'll have to see what she is up to in Hong Kong!

carao dowd said...

I am having trouble finding details for this magnificent garden. I am a photographer looking for a rose garden to do a shoot in and this would be perfect. Do you have a contact detail for me by any chance. Thank you kindly.

Lynn Hunt said...

Cara, you should be able to find some wonderful roses at the Royal Sydney Botanic Gardens. Many of the ones in my posting are there. The other garden is private. We were able to visit through an invitation.

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