Celebrating the Rose Meetings


The Limestone Coast was the centre of the rose universe earlier this month, when the Rose Society of South Australia converged on Mount Gambier, enjoying a whirlwind tour of the region’s best gardens and the hospitality of The Barn. Every two years the Society holds a combined branches meeting for its four member branches and it was the Limestone Coast’s turn to host the weekend, focussing on their shared love of roses, but also developing friendships. Aside from Marianne and Dale Cleaves garden, at The Barn, the members visited Betty and john McKee’s Sheriffmur; the home and garden of Lorraine and Lindsay Merrett; Barbara and Max Lightbody’s Aberfoyle; Windmore,  the garden of Cobi and Cary Jennings; Margaret and Grant Harrington’s Moruya and Sue and John Zwar’s Camawald.

Around 120 rose lovers enjoyed the weekend with special guest speaker headlining the celebration dinner with a presentation focussed on the regeneration of gardens after bushfires. Jill showed how she, and a number of friends and businesses, were able to help residents acquire and replant hundreds of roses in bushfire affected towns around Kinglake, in Victoria. Weather leading into the Rose Society visit was from ideal with the extreme heat and Thursday downpour but the Rose Society still gave the region a huge tick of approval. “Absolutely ten out of ten,” Rose Society of South Australia secretary Wendy Trimper said. “Even though our gardeners could see there was some damage from the heat and rain every garden was absolutely fabulous.” Visitors from places like Kimba and Hay were especially blown away as they are not used to the rich greenery presented by the South East spaces. “For them gardens like these were absolutely amazing,” Wendy said. “They were astounded they were so green and so beautifully kept.”

State-wide there are around 1250 members in the Society and the contingent that visited this region were especially impressed with the diversity of gardens presented. “All seven gardens were different,” Wendy said. “Even though they had similar plants the way the gardens were put together and developed made them all different and that was wonderful.”

Society president Douglas Gregory summed up the weekend in his own words, too. “Each garden visited was unique and each had that special property that we all want from any garden – we leave with our spirit a little more lifted, our intentions a little more grand and our belief that nature is beautiful, more firmly entrenched.”

Reprinted with permission of Lifesyle 1

Lyn Nichol (Adelaide) & Elly Johnson (Paringa)

Merv Trimper (Adelaide)

Rose Society of SA Presidents Betty McKee (South East), Peter Willis (Eyre), Doug Gregory (Adelaide), Ross Kemp (Roses in the Heartland) & Coleen Houston (Chaffey)