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.
The funding support has come from Council’s Stronger Communities Grants program which was a one-off allocation from the State Government provided to Councils that have undertaken mergers in NSW.
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,” Dr Tiley said.
“A sustainable Heritage Rose Garden is being established on the site of a former orchard at Saumarez Homestead – a project which will have cultural, educational and economic benefits for the region.”
The project aims to develop a significant cultural landscape, conserve a collection of historic roses and resources that will extend the educational role of Saumarez Homestead – attracting more visitors to its historic garden as well as furthering the cause of education which is one of the Australian Garden History Society’s prime objectives.
“The completion of Stage 2 of the Heritage Rose Garden will allow the inclusion of roses from significant Australian breeders, conserving examples of roses which are considered at risk of being lost”, said Helen Oates, co-chair of the Australian Garden History Society sub-branch rose committee.
“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.”
Member for Northern Tablelands, Adam Marshall said the development would further beautify one of Armidale’s tourist drawcards.
“Rose Gardens were traditionally an incredibly popular feature of 19th century homesteads – and have been an iconic part of Australia’s horticultural heritage,” Mr Marshall said.
“Saumarez is already a must-see location for any travellers or sightseers, and this project will no doubt charm visitors while educating them about traditional garden keeping.”
“A great range of community members are involved in the development of this project. Gardeners, farmers, a botanist, archivist, historians, a heritage advisor, publicists and community organizations including BackTrack are collaborating to bring this project to fruition,” said Dr Tiley.
“Council is keen to be able to support worthwhile community projects and especially those which bring long-term lasting benefits to the community.”