Photos Taken 13th March
Buckets to the rescue!!! (13th Feb)
The buckets were so useful today whilst working on the low roses that our team managed to deadhead several beds of the dreaded "back & knee destroyers", one after the other! Great strategy......
The VSRG Supporters almost lost amongst the bushes as they worked non stop deadheading throughout the very hot days to keep the roses looking their best. (taken 31st January)
Morning Tea with a difference for the Volunteers mid January!
The volunteers gathered at the new Gazebo to share morning tea as a result of a power outage at our usual shed. For some it was a trip down memory lane as this was the norm many years ago when the volunteers had no shed or cover and used to sit on their upturned buckets around the Gazebo.......
A few historic photos of how it used to be for morning tea!!!!
The roses have been blooming brilliantly all throughout January despite some extended periods of very high temperatures. Volunteers and visitors alike have been pleasantly surprised.
The volunteers have continually deadheaded to promote the constant growth of new flowers and it has certainly been very successful. Visitors can't stop taking photos.
Wed. 14th & 21st November. Back to work!
The misty rain didn't stop the volunteers on Wednesday from dead heading and generally doing a tidy up after the State Rose & Garden Show.
November 2018 10 - 11
State Rose & Garden Show 2018
CAMERAS, CAMERAS EVERWHERE!!
Broader Garden Views ........
All these photos were taken on the 17th October. Every day more roses are bursting into flower. The warm weather and sunshine is very welcome indeed.
VIBRANT NEW GROWTH EVERYWHERE
We have officially finished winter pruning. Now volunteers are weeding (big job), trying to rabbit proof some roses & fertilize etc and we stop now and again to enjoy the roses. Now we watch new growth and buds developing. The frantic rush of pruning is over and there IS time to smell the roses!!
Pruning is progressing well in all areas. Big teams work together on beds and specialist teams concentrate on their areas.
Pruning News 20th June
Thankfully the volunteers were blessed with fine sunny weather again to get on with the pruning.
Pruning News 13th June
Teams were at the ready on 13th June to tackle the enormous job of pruning the 5500 roses.
Photos taken 30th May
Three roses for the price of one! So many different colours on the same rose. What an amazing rose is Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, much like the lady herself.
Working at the rose garden never stops.
Whilst pruning demos were being given other groups were weeding and putting up guards to protect the roses from severe rabbit damage.
The Gazebo, the favourite of many wedding photos, had become unsafe and needed to be replaced. It was dismantled very quickly & without fuss. HOPEFULLY THE NEW GAZEBO GOES UP AS QUICKLY!!!
Hips, Hips and more Hips!
The History of the VSRG SUPPORTERS ( an excerpt from the booklet by Wal Johnston)
The Victoria State Rose Garden would not exist had it not been for the Supporters Group. This is an attempt to tell their story from its origins back in 1993.
Readers are advised that to learn of the history of the Rose garden and its origins they should consult the VSRG Booklet “History and Origins of the Victoria State Rose Garden” by James Lyall Priestly OAM.
The origin of the Supporters Group was a talk and public pruning demonstration at the Melton Garden Centre (now defunct) in January 1993. The demonstrator, Mr James L. Priestly OAM (Jim) was asking visitors to sign a petition to save the Victoria State Rose Garden.
The garden was being looked after by five stalwarts of the Rose Society of Victoria, but it had got beyond their capabilities as they all resided in the eastern suburbs and were all of retirement age. The five were James Priestly, Sam Gough, Arthur Haynes, Ted Phillips, and Ern Pietsch (The Pioneers). The grass was out of control and the plants were covered in hips and deadheads.
Because of this the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works, who controlled Werribee Park at that time, were seriously considering their options. Hence the petition by Jim Priestly who, as founder of the garden, had a vested interest in keeping the garden going. One visitor suggested a public appeal in the local newspaper, the Werribee Banner, for volunteers to assist in maintaining the garden.
The Banner entries are so significant to the origins of the Supporters that they are reproduced here.
WEDNESDAY 10 FEBRUARY 1993
HELP OUR ROSES
Volunteers are needed to help save the Victoria State Rose Garden at Werribee Park. Meanwhile the man who designed it wants to be allowed to finish what he started.
By Caroline Overington
Melbourne Water is considering a plan to build a two-storey rotunda in the centre of the Victoria State Rose Garden at Werribee Park.
The proposal put forward by ground staff includes fencing a section of the rose garden earmarked for an observation mound and sundial.
Areas originally earmarked for stages two and three of the garden would be fenced and used as sheep pastures.
The proposal has stunned the man who designed the rose garden, James Priestly OAM.
“Before the rose garden, visitors to Victoria would contact the rose society wanting to know where they could go to see roses. I had to send them to the Springvale Crematorium”, Mr. Priestly said. “I wrote to Premier Hamer and said it was stupid to be the Garden State without a rose garden and he said okay; make one”.
Mr Priestly designed the garden to look like a Tudor rose. The completed stage one is in the shape of a rose head with five petals separated by paths. The stem of the rose pokes out between petals B and C. (Editor’s Note - the stem actually pokes out between Petals A and E) Stage two would be in the shape of a leaf and planted with Australian raised roses.
Stage three would be in the shape of a smaller leaf planted with historical and miniature roses.
There would also be trial beds in the shape of thorns.
The centre of the rose was to be marked by a water fountain.
“We wanted a fountain, not a rotunda. We wanted something that would dribble water, something subtle and classic.” Mr Priestly said.
Mr Priestly said the rotunda would be out of place in the rose garden.
“It is supposed to be a place of peace and quiet, a place to contemplate.’ he said. “Imagine how much thinking you could get done with jazz bands playing and others on electric guitars”.
Supporters of the Melbourne Water plan say the rotunda would attract more people to the rose garden, particularly for weddings.
Money would be saved if land earmarked for stages two and three were used as sheep pastures.
Melbourne Water currently spends about $48,000 on the maintenance of the garden.
Melbourne Water is responsible for weeding, deadheading, trimming, spraying and watering the roses and pays about $48,000 a year to have this done. Summer trimming and winter pruning is left to a group of five volunteers, including Mr Priestly.
“All the volunteers currently come from the eastern suburbs”, Mr Priestly said.
“What we really want is some people from Werribee to lend a hand. Volunteers are needed to ‘deadhead’ the roses, or remove dead flowers from the plants, which encourages repeat flowering. We can teach volunteers how to dead head.” Mr Priestly said.
“All they need is enthusiasm, willingness to work and a few spare hours once a fortnight.”
Mr Priestly wants Melbourne Water to donate $40,000 of the $48,000 it spends maintaining the garden to the volunteers.
“We would put that money straight back into the rose garden” he said. “We would soon have the garden we planned”.
WEDNESDAY 17 FEBRUARY 1993
THANK YOU FOR SAVING THE ROSE GARDEN
The man who designed the State Rose Garden thanks those who want to save it.
More than 20 have volunteered to tend the plants at the Victorian State Rose Garden at Werribee Park. The man who designed the garden, James Priestly, last week called for volunteers to trim and prune the roses.
Melbourne Water, which owns Werribee Park and the garden, is responsible for weeding, trimming, spraying and watering the roses.
However, summer trimming and winter pruning is left to a group of five volunteers, including Mr Priestly. Prior to a story in the Werribee Banner last week, all of Mr Priestly’s volunteers were from the eastern suburbs. Mr Priestly wanted people from Werribee to lend a hand.
“I was very happy with the response,” Mr Priestly said. “Myself and Werribee Park, got heaps of calls”
Dozens of people also called the Werribee Banner.
Now Mr Priestly has about 10 committed volunteers but still wants more.
He believes the enthusiasm for the garden shown by locals, means his original concept for its completion might go ahead.
There will be a meeting for volunteers at 2.30pm this Sunday at the Rose Garden.
So, on the 21st February 1993, 50 volunteers met with Jim Priestley in the garden and the Victoria State Rose Garden Supporters (VSRGS) started.
Speech given by Wal Johnston at a special morning tea for Veronica O'Brien.
DEPARTURE OF VERONICA O’BRIEN 31 Jan 2018
And so we say farewell to another long serving member of the Supporters. As an honorary Life Member, Veronica remains a member, albeit from a distance. We know she will be keeping an eye on us through the website and Facebook.
With over 24 years as a volunteer in the Garden Veronica has been involved in the many victories and the few defeats. She has been a member of Council for a number of years. She has been involved with training newcomers. She has supervised the planting of new roses. Veronica has also promoted the Garden with talks to interested groups, including gardening clubs. This entailed hours of preparation, travelling and with no recompense. – the list goes on.
Her service to the Garden was rewarded in 2005 with her being granted Honorary Life Member.
One of her passions and an enormous benefit to our Garden was her work on the Replacement Team. She joined the team around 2007 and took over the sourcing and ordering of the replacement plants in early 2009. With strong ideas of what we need in the Garden, she has had to argue and bargain with her fellow members of the team. Dealing with some suppliers and our Council has often been frustrating, but she won through regardless.
Veronica has never been afraid to take on tasks and so she was elected to the position of President in September 2010. As any ex-President will tell you, this experience was satisfying and enjoyable. Veronica was an excellent President but I am sure that she breathed a sigh of relief when her two years were up.
She is moving to the NSW coast where she and husband Tom will be renting. She tells me she has the start of a rose garden there – one sick plant and one not too well, but already she has made contact with her friends who just happen to be rose breeders. She is assuring them that she would be able to trial their new breedings in her new garden. After all she has to do something while Tom is out playing golf.
Veronica, we wish you well in your new endeavor and hope that you will visit us when you are down this way.
Speech given by Wal Johnston at a special morning tea for Joan Broadstock.
JOAN BROADSTOCK DEPARTURE 10 Jan 2018
Joan has decided to desert us for the cold wilds of Ballarat. She is not resigning from membership of the Garden as she has been an Honorary Life Member since 1999.
Joan, with her late husband, Len, joined as a foundation member in 1993. This means she is just shy of twenty-five years of active service.
She has been involved with just about every aspect of the Garden, working in the Tudor Rose, in the Heritage Border, and in the Bud. She was part of the teams who planned, sourced and planted the first Heritage Border, the Australian Leaf and the Bud. She has been an excellent trainer and looked after the new chums with her casual but effective manner. (Probably remembering her own time under the severe tutelage of the pioneers.)
There are many activities Joan has been involved with. For example she was on the Rose Replacement team for a while. She shared in the activity of presenting our Garden to the World Federation of Rose Societies for the Garden of Excellence Award. She was the co-ordinator for the Heritage Roses in Australia VSRG Group. She was involved with applications for grants from various organisations. The list goes on.
Joan was instrumental in arranging home visits, where members opened up their gardens for the rest of the Garden crew to come and admire. She always opened her own garden for us to visit. This practice has not been held for some time, but is not forgotten by those of us who enjoyed the visits (and the morning teas).
Joan was our very efficient Secretary for nine years. In that time, using her son’s expertise, she organized a computer generated data base which allowed us to keep the rose and personnel records up to date. For years she made sure that the system was operating and being used. She trained many people in its use.
She became our President in 2014 and we enjoyed two years under her guidance.
We wish you well, Joan, in your new endeavor and trust that you will come and visit us on a regular basis. After all, Ballarat is not that far and we will miss you.
State Rose & Garden Show 2017
Volunteers have worked tirelessly to finish mulching and all other jobs in preparation for the all important Rose & Garden Show.
Everyone has been working so hard to prepare the Rose Garden for the STATE ROSE & GARDEN SHOW.
Volunteers have been busy weeding, fertilising, mulching and repairing any damage done by wind, rain, possums & rabbits as best they can. Guards added around new plants are continually checked to ensure the best protection.
News To Celebrate.
Shirley Cameron has won a Wyndham Council Community Volunteer Award for her long time commitment as a volunteer at the Victoria State Rose Garden. (over 25 years) She has also been a long standing Birdlife Australia champion and supporter. Shirley has always been heavily involved with volunteering in her community with her latest commitment being the Werribee Information Centre located at the Werribee Zoo.
We are very proud of you here at VSRG and of the well deserved recognition of such outstanding community volunteering.
Everyone was all smiles for the visit by our Patron, Jane Edmanson, on 16th August.
Wed July 19th, the 6th week of pruning was a washout. Continuous rain caused the cancellation of pruning for the day. A small group of hopeful volunteers locked up at 9.30 and went home.
Week 5 of Pruning, 12th July saw frosty conditions for the early arrivals.
28th June. Week 3 of Pruning.
All volunteers celebrated at morning tea the enormous contribution of longstanding member, Life Member, Glenis Mackie. Sadly Glenis is moving away to live closer to her family so will no longer be able to work in the garden. She will be sorely missed. Thank you Glenis.
Third Week of Pruning.
Teams of volunteers work systematically through the beds to prune for maximum flowers. Each bed has different needs so decisions have to be made by the team bed by bed. We always cut out dead, dying, diseased and small, useless low side growths. (diddly bits) After that is cleared out it's easy!!!!
To prepare for pruning, which commenced on 14th June, experienced pruners conducted demonstrations over two Wednesdays for newer volunteers. (31st May, 7th June)
The Public Pruning demonstrations will be held on Saturday 24th June from 10.00 till 1.00. Come along and brush up on your own skills in readiness for pruning your own roses.
The recent cold snap has caused a great change in the Rose Garden. Although there are still lots of roses blooming and many beds full of green, dense foliage, the cold has certainly caused lots of leaf loss.
Big Morning Tea, Cancer Fundraiser - $287.00
A big thank you to all who donated both food and money at our recent Big Morning Tea for Cancer fundraiser. Great effort everyone.
Check up on all the latest news about what is happening in the garden on Facebook. Beautiful photos, lots of likes and wonderful comments.
The Garden is a mixture of roses flowering strongly with many buds still forming and opening freely. The leaf growth ranges from lush to sparse. As the supporters have ceased dead heading the roses will gradually stop flowering and form hips. As the cold weather increases the leaves will drop and the garden will be ready for pruning. We do have some flowers right throughout June.
Remember to put in your diary to visit in the Spring for a glorious display.
BIRD VISITORS to Victoria State Rose Garden
PLAN A VISIT!!!!!!!!!
Wonderful place for a relaxing picnic.
State Rose & Garden Show 2016
The STATE ROSE & GARDEN SHOW had 12,500 Visitors over the 2 days.
On 19th & 20th November, Werribee put on an amazing display at the Rose and Garden Show. The Rose Garden looked glorious and team of volunteers from the Rose Garden should be commended for the work they do. The program of quality presenters, the channel 7 broadcasts on Friday night and the perfect weather combined to ensure record numbers.
At the event the team from Werribee Visitor Information Centre spoke to over 1200 people from all over Victoria and from some exotic locations such as Mauritius.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Tourism Matters Newsletter.)
You don't have to wait till the 2017 show to learn the answers to all those questions that have been bugging you for a long time. You could always volunteer at the garden. What a fabulous place to volunteer........ Enjoy the following photos.........
Many beds are in full bloom whilst all others are heavy with buds. Don't miss this magnificent display!
Individual blooms in a variety of beds keep appearing to herald the glorious display to come!
Colourful new leaf growth abounds in all areas and buds are swelling getting ready to burst into colour. Come & visit the garden & have a chat to the volunteers any Wednesday or Saturday morning. Better still think about volunteering yourself!
Early Spring to Summer photos of the arches.
On 7th September 54 Members attended the 2016 AGM including the Garden co- designer, Mervyn Hayman Danker. The attendees were fortunate to have an interesting address by Mr Hayman Danker on the process undertaken to create the Garden and the roles played by many people to make it happen.
Following are both the outgoing President's report for 2015/2016 and the incoming President's Address outlining his goals for the coming 2 years.
Victoria State Rose Garden Supporters President's Report 2015-2016 presented by Joan Broadstock at AGM
It is my pleasure to present this Annual report on behalf of the Council of the Victoria State Rose Garden Supporters.
I think you will all agree that the Rose Garden is as good as it gets! You can’t really improve on perfection.. We have been fortunate that there has been such good rain this season. It makes such a difference. Well, after lots of lobbying, we have at last the good news that the Rose garden watering system is to have the upgrade that it deserves, so it will improve! This is a huge project including the Werribee Park gardens as well, so it will take some time to complete.
It is an appropriate time to reflect on our activities over the past year.
The normal annual tasks of pruning, deadheading, mulching, fertilising, weeding, sucker removal etc. have been carried out with ever-increasing efficiency, and good humour. In addition we have:
- Renovated three tired rosebeds and planted 114 new roses.
- Installed brick rose signs and bed numbers as required.
- Produced a new leaflet for the Heritage Border.
- Erected a new box for this near the entry from the turnstile.
- Acquired a Defibrillator and instructed members in its use.
- First Aid team upgraded their qualifications, and keep up with the latest best practise.
Apart from this all-important practical application of our efforts to maintain and improve the Garden, there is the social aspect, which is as important, if not more so! Happy volunteers mean the rose garden thrives.
- Barbecues each month, and weekly ones during winter pruning.
- We are often joined by Parks staff, providing an opportunity to get to know each other better.
- Morning tea, as well as a welcome break, is an opportunity to catch up on news of the garden and absent friends and to share a joke and a story or two.
With an eye to publicity for, and promotion of the VSRG we have been represented at the:
- STATE ROSE and GARDEN SHOW over two days in November here in our rose garden.
- Rose Society of Victoria Rose Show in Spring.
- Contributed articles to the Victorian Rose News and Heritage Roses Australia Journal.
- Interviews for the Weekend Australian, The Weekend Age, and the Wyndham Star Weekly.
- VSRG Web Page, a huge success, is becoming increasingly popular.
- VSRG Facebook page is spreading the news far and wide.
- Wyndham Volunteers morning tea and other events give us a chance to meet other local volunteers.
- The Award received from the Heritage Council of Victoria recently recognised our contribution over the years.
We would like to put on record our appreciation of the interest, work, and co-operation of Werribee Park’s staff and Rangers. Though they are not ‘volunteers’ their enthusiasm for the Victoria State Rose Garden, is obvious.
Our grateful thanks also to our sponsors, Treloar Roses and Neutrog fertilizer.
Next year there will be some changes in our Council. Members you all know well, who will retire are;
Nola Bradford, Veronica O’Brien, Sue Myers, Rhondda Timberlake, Alex Quinn and Cheryl Brooks.
These Volunteers are dedicated to to the success of our group and to making sure that the VSRG is one of the best Rose Gardens in the world. We all owe them a debt of gratitude! Of course they will be here as usual working among us and the benefit of their knowledge and experience is yours for the asking.
For me, this is the end of my term as President. It has been a great experience! I will always be glad I took on the job. One of the great joys has been getting to know the members so much better. My sincere thanks to all for your support
I wish Lex and the new Council all the very best in the coming two years.
Margret Smith will remain as Secretary, Cheri Slipais and Neil Anderson as Vice Presidents and
Michelle Mayne will take over from Nola as Treasurer.
Councillors returning are Graham Otte, Anne Long, Leonie Freeman and Marlene Duggan.
New are Nancy Rubino, Joe Bertolini, Tom Blackhurst, and Judy Peckham. Jenny Pratt will be Minute Secretary.
We thank all of you! and know you will bring great ideas, enthusiasm and continued success to the VSRG.
Incoming President, Lex Hodge's Address
Incoming President Lex Hodge thanked Joan for performing all her presidential duties so well – meeting & welcoming visiting dignitaries, chairing Council meetings, working and consolidating the chain of command with Parks and producing the newsletter.
Lex said he would also like to thank, Wal for his interesting stories, Glenis Mackie for her committed work in removing rose suckers, Christine and Cheryl for their work on the Website and Facebook, Marlene for ordering fertiliser and tools, Joe for doing the BBQ and salads, and Joe Nancy & other members who have brought in cakes etc., for our morning teas – and all members for doing a fantastic job in the garden.
Lex said the goals he was setting for the next two years were:
* Increasing membership.
* Improving irrigation.
* Weed elimination.
* Nutrient stabilization in the soil.
* Investigation and planning for a viewing mound.
All areas of the Rose Garden have responded to great conditions of plentiful rain and sustained warmth with strong, healthy growth. The volunteers are looking forward to masses of flowers just around the corner.
Pruning progress report from President Joan
We began in Petal B in June and are now we have finished the Tudor Rose. This includes not just the beds of bush roses but also, Festoons, Tripods, Weepers, Arches and Avenues. The Heritage border is getting its fair share of attention too. New roses are being planted there to fill spaces as well. The Australian Leaf is not missing out either. Every team knows what to do and they do it! The cooperation is magnificent. The Bud is usually left till last but by the time we get to it we are so confident and fast that the roses all but dodge! The birds don’t dodge though as they consider themselves part of the team. They think we are just there to stir up the insects for them.
As always we are well supported by the WP team, Danny, Adam, Hasan and others who fill and empty the trailers. It’s a hive of industry and great fun.
As we brave the chill weather and continue to enjoy pruning and shaping the garden again, we remember what the garden will look like in just 3 months time.......
Volunteers brave the cold to keep on track with the Winter prune. As we near the 9th week of pruning the Tudor Rose is almost complete. The larger proportion of pruners then move into the Leaf Section and the Bud. The volunteers working in the specialist areas will also lend a hand once their areas are completed.
These photos were taken on the first two Wednesdays in May. There are still so many roses in bloom that we are wondering how we will be able to commence pruning on 8th June!!!
Perhaps this spell of cold weather will make the leaves drop and the flowers will stop?
April 27th collection of blooms. ENJOY! and plan a visit.
What an inspiring place for an Autumn walk. Visitors take countless photos as at every turn there is another photo opportunity. Make sure you walk along the Heritage Border.
HIPS, HIPS and more HIPS!!
Bendigo Bank Branch Manager presents a defibrillator to VSRG Volunteers.
On Wednesday 30th March Dino Gulizia, Werribee Bendigo Bank Branch Manager, presented a defibrillator to President Joan Broadstock. He was thanked by the volunteers at the State Rose Garden for his contribution to the purchase of the defibrillator.
The volunteers had been looking to purchase a defibrillator unit for some time. They approached the Bendigo Bank who contributed $1800 towards this life-saving piece of equipment. Some training sessions have been held on its use, but the volunteers hope that this piece of equipment never needs to be used.
On Wednesday 23rd March, Eva Major, the Treasurer of the Werribee Garden Club, visited the Rose Garden during morning tea to present a cheque for $500.00 to the President, Joan Broadstock. All the supporters gathered there were surprised and delighted with the large donation which will be put towards maintaining the State Rose Garden.
A big thank you to the members of the Werribee Garden Club for their much appreciated support.
We have a commemoration "Angela Rose Taylor" rose blooming magnificently at the moment in the leaf section of the garden.
Constable Angela Rose Taylor, 21, died from her injuries 24 days after the bombing of Russell Street police headquarters on Easter Thursday, 27 March 1986.
The young policewoman killed after a car bomb exploded in front of the force headquarters in Melbourne has been remembered 30 years after the tragedy - and awarded a service medal.
On 17th February 2016 Joan Broadstock, VSRGS president, together with Parks Victoria staff, planted a sapling from the River Red Gum, Separation Tree (now dead) in the R M Botanic Gardens.
Tim Pallas( MP) gave this sapling to the VSRGS after he met with them at the Wyndham Rose & Garden Show. It was considered more appropriate to plant it in the magnificent Werribee Park Mansion Gardens where it can be seen from the rose garden.
Hadn't visited the BUD for some time but so many distractions and photo opportunities on the way made it difficult to just walk straight there! Maxi Vita on either side of the path between the Mounds grabbed attention and shouted "Take a photo or two!!"
Tried to go straight into the Bud entrance but the Heritage Border beckoned!! Poulsen's Delight was ....well... delightful!
Finally made it ....and the Bud was wonderful. Enjoy the photos.
On Wednesday 9th December Parks Victoria Rangers presented certificates, recognising 10 years and 20 years of volunteer service at the Victoria State Rose Garden, to 45 appreciative volunteers. It is an amazing achievement that so many people have willingly volunteered for so many years.
Thank you Parks Victoria for the recognition and accolade.
VOTING RESULTS for the best perfumed rose at the STATE ROSE AND GARDEN SHOW.
MISTER LINCOLN...145....Parole....122......Papa Meilland 88....Heaven Scent 87. These Roses were Polled over two days. The Children's Rose was only shown on one day and scored 87
Other roses shown were Olde Fragrance....Ebbtide ....Darcy Bussell...Pat Austin...Sweet Intoxication...Double Delight...Young Lycidas ....The Wedding Rose and Chrysler Imperial
Lots of people enjoyed casting their vote for the rose with the best perfume.
JOAN BROADSTOCK PRESIDENT, Supporters Group for "Weekend Australian"
DESCRIBE THE GARDEN: It’s on 5 hectare adjacent to the historic Werribee Park Mansion, which is about halfway between Melbourne and Geelong. The Rose garden was officially opened in 1986 and now has more than 5000 roses. The design is in the shape of a five-petalled Tudor rose; those beds contain modern hybrid tea and floribunda roses. Pathways acts as a rose ‘stem’, leading to a rosebud-shaped section containing David Austin roses, and the Federation Leaf area containing Australian-bred roses. Around the perimeter are old species and heritage roses.
The roses are trained in many ways on arches, tripods, festoons and as weeping standards. It’s world-renowned and we get a lot of international rose enthusiasts visiting. We’re open every day of the year and it’s free to visit.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: Although Parks Victoria manages the site, it would be impossible to maintain a garden of this size without volunteers. It is labor intensive! There are over a hundred in our group and we give over 10,000 hours of our time annually. The volunteers group started in 1993 to save the garden, and a few have here since that first day. We work Saturdays and Wednesdays and there’s always plenty of us turn up.
We’re a very active group and run the garden autonomously, even arranging for sponsorship from rose growers such as Treloar Roses and Neutrog. Fertilizers. We have all the roses on an audited database so we know exactly what we have.
SPECIAL EVENT: Next weekend, November 14-15, is the State Rose and Garden Show, from 10am-3pm. It’s free to attend and is a really festive occasion. There are some big names in gardening giving talks, such as Jane Edmanson, Angus Stewart and John Patrick from Gardening Australia, SBS’s Vasili Kanidiadis and Channel 9’s Melissa King.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL: The fact that it’s run by volunteers. It was awarded Garden of Excellence status by the World Federation of Rose Societies, the first in the southern hemisphere and the first rose garden run by volunteers to be honored with this award
More than 50 stallholders sell roses, other plants and all sorts of garden goodies and there’s a jazz band in the gazebo. For children there are lawn games and face painting. It’s a real carnival atmosphere. You can bring a picnic or taste a range of food from the food trucks. The volunteers will be giving guided tours and answering all sorts of rose questions over both days, as we’re thrilled to showcase the garden.
The Heritage Border is ahead of all the other sections of the Garden with a wonderful, vibrant display.
These photos of the flowers blooming all along the Heritage Border were taken by Christine Menegazzo, VSRG Facebook editor. Check out our Facebook Page to see so many more.
The roses are responding to recent warm weather with more roses blooming in all parts of the garden. The Heritage Border is especially beautiful, more so every week. Tripods are coming into flower in many places and whole beds are bursting into flower now. Put a visit in your diary in the coming weeks and be rewarded with a marvellous spectacle.
We would like to acknowledge and thank Incitec Pivot for their kind donation of 12 bags of Gran-Am Fertiliser to cover the spring fertilising regime.
Mulching continues and in the few short weeks since pruning finished the garden is once more awash with fresh burgundy and green new growth.
At our recent AGM Awards were made to six of our our long standing members.
Life Membership of VSRGS was awarded to Valda Bindon and Brian Bindon.
Certificates for fifteen years of service to the VSRGS were awarded to Neville Arthur, Ray Luttick, Bev Edwards and Neil Edwards.
The volunteers have been blessed with beautiful weather each week so pruning is on track. The teams are already half way through the Tudor Rose. Specialist teams are also happy with the progress in their areas.
WINTER HAS ARRIVED
Wednesday 3rd June will see the volunteers giving their tools the last sharpen and any other maintenance necessary
Wednesday 10th June will see the volunteers armed with secateurs, loppers, saws, ladders, mats and loads of enthusiasm as they begin the enormous job of pruning.
Wednesday 17th June was the 2nd week of pruning and all the rustiness was gone and confidence and efficiency took over! The weather was very accommodating and great progress was made.
The colours of the blooms on many roses are different in the Autumn from Spring or Summer.
It's official. Deadheading the roses finished on the 25th March.
Autumn is a wonderful time to be out and about with many calm, warm days, perfect for strolling. There are still lots of flowers on the bushes. So come for a visit before the spent blooms lessen the colourful display.
It is not a time to rest however for the volunteers as there is always work to be done at the Garden. Just to name a few jobs for the coming weeks, weeding (never ending) cleaning & reorganising sheds, pruning in the heritage border, making new mats and cleaning, oiling and sharpening our secateurs carefully for the pruning season in early June. There are also roses to come out and beds to be prepared for the new ones going in!
In March, the Autumn flush of modern roses make it an excellent time to see masses of flowers. The garden is certainly showing masses of roses.
Additional to the flower display the Heritage Border is a must see with a stunning display of Hips along its entire length.
With the pressure of deadheading always there I hadn't taken a walk for a few weeks along the Heritage Border and into the Leaf. A big mistake! Both are looking magnificent with so many photo opportunities that I didn't do any work, preferring instead to look closely at such varied, interesting flowers.
Deadheading is still the main activity as the volunteers continue to encourage new flowers to keep on coming. There will be an Autumn flush of blooms soon and the weather is usually beautiful for strolling and soaking in the atmosphere. Hope to see many more visitors there amongst the beauty.
Come by any Wednesday or Saturday morning and any of the volunteers will be very happy to have a chat about our roses or yours!!!
Despite heat, drying winds, storms and torrential rain the Garden continues to look wonderful. This is in no small part to the continual deadheading and constant tidying up by the VSRG Supporters. Put a visit on your holiday schedule.
The Williamstown Camera Club members shared these special photos from their recent visit.
Whole beds in all directions are in full bloom. Visitors everywhere kept saying, "Come and look at this! "Look at the colour!" Smell the perfume!" "I can't believe the size of the flowers" "The roses are amazing!"
November is the perfect time to visit. Visitors are amazed as the enter through the Entrance Arch and gaze at the mass of colour spread out before them. Don't miss a visit. Put it in the diary!
As can be seen from the photos "what a difference a warm week makes!" There is colour everywhere. Put it in your diary to make a visit in the next few weeks! it will be a delight.
Roses are coming into bloom in all areas now, Leaf, Bud, Tudor Rose, Heritage Border.
The mass display is on the way! Why not plan a visit for later in the month?
The spell of warm weather late in September saw wonderful growth of colourful foliage and mass growth of rose buds. There are a few whole beds breaking into flower but mostly small spots of colour are appearing all around.
Late September 2014
There is strong, multicoloured growth on all the rose bushes. There are even a few flowers appearing on bushes that were pruned in early June.
Early September 2014
Whilst pruning is complete in all areas other than the Heritage Border it is not the time for a rest. Mulching will continue in the Tudor Rose for the next few weeks followed by all other areas.
Pruning finished in the Tudor Rose on 20th August. The Bud, the Leaf, the Festoons and the Arches were already complete. The Weeping Standards are almost complete.
There is still more to be pruned in the Heritage Border but Wal, the leader of the Heritage Border team, said they are happy if it is all pruned completely in one year. It is non stop really! The rest of the teams do at least get a break from pruning.
Everyone enjoys hearing the words "Morning Tea" and with tools quickly gathered up, they head back for a well earned break. Likewise the sharing of a BBQ lunch is also welcomed at the end of pruning each Wednesday.
Pruning is progressing well with very little time having been lost due to wet weather. As all the specialist teams finish their areas more people move to concentrate on completing the pruning of the Tudor Rose.
The Victoria State Rose Garden has been mentioned on this link "Weekend Notes." which is great. Send or share this link to friends overseas who might want to know what there is to do in Werribee and Wyndham City or just how much there is to do and see here. Check out this link !
As the photos show there are surprisingly still a lot of flowers throughout the garden and lots of leaves on the bushes. The volunteers are spending a lot of time cutting off leaves before they are can attempt to prune. With the cold weather setting in the leaves should drop to allow faster pruning. Every Wednesday and Saturday, till the end of August, this is the scene you will see.
A variety of work continues to keep the garden neat and tidy.There are still roses blooming all around. Very few are losing their leaves and with the recent spell of beautiful Autumn days (11 days above 20 degrees) it will be difficult to commence pruning on the 11th June.
On Wednesday 21st May we held a "Big Morning Tea" to raise money for Cancer Research. We do this every year and it is always a great success. It was well supported with donations of money and, as the pictures show, with delicious food. Parks staff came along and joined us for the occasion. Apart from the social aspects a considerable amount of money $234.60, was raised for this great cause.
It's official. Deadheading the roses finished on the 9th April. The welcome rain actually stopped the volunteers from working on the day but during breaks between the showers there was time to admire the flowers on so many bushes.
COME TO SEE THE ROSES. Autumn is a wonderful time to be out and about. As you can see from the photos there are still lots of flowers on the bushes. So come for a visit before the spent blooms lessen the colourful display.
It is not a time to rest however for the volunteers as there is always work to be done at the Garden. Just to name a few jobs for the coming weeks, weeding (never ending) painting and repairing the bench seats, pruning in the heritage border, making new mats and cleaning and sharpening our secateurs carefully for the pruning season in early June. There are also roses to come out and beds to be prepared for the new ones going in!
There are often queries about how many roses are in bloom and if it is a good time to visit the Garden. These pictures taken on 12th March show very clearly that it is a great time to visit right now.
The volunteers will continue to work constantly on deadheading as the roses are flowering prolifically once again.
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Despite the intense heat throughout Januuary and into February the Garden has colourful blooms in all directions and is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll.
Be sure to visit the Bud where all the David Austin roses are continuing to bloom well despite the past few dry weeks.
"Eyes For You" has been growing very successfully in Trail bed B so it may be used to replace a whole bed of another less well performing rose.
Welcome return of volunteers in January.
There had been a lot of dead heading and weeding to catch up on after the holiday break. It was a welcome sight on Wednesday 8th January to see a large group of eager volunteers arriving back ready to work.
The State Rose and Garden Show has come and gone and the crowds strolled through rose avenues, sheltered under festoons, weeping standards and arches all the while admiring the beauty of the roses.
What more is there to say! Just come and see this magnificent Garden.
OCTOBER 24th. Despite rain, hail, heat and gale force winds the roses are magnificent. There is brilliant colour everywhere. No matter where you turn you are surrounded by stunning colour displays. With camera in hand the difficulty is where to start and how to stop! Don't miss it.
OCTOBER 9th. There are more beds with roses blooming and buds just ready to burst into flower. Several beds are covered in flowers in Petal E where pruning commenced. Tripods and festoons are beginning to flower as well. Great photo opportunities!
The garden is looking brilliant with the petals not quite in bloom but the Heritage Border is blooming and is well worth a stroll to admire these roses, some of them blooming only once for the season.