We moved into Kareela, the old archbishop’s house in 1988. Ian hired a backhoe and demolished the back garden. It took 3 months to cut back the overgrown mass of jungle, leaving a very old Cecile Brunner and Lorraine Lee. Together with a helper, Ian built all the limestone walls, with the back wall having a 15ft drop at the right back corner of the garden. We waited 8 months to gather clean fill from the cartage contractors in the area and planted lawn. The roses are on fortuniana stock and are primarily hybrid teas and floribundas with some climbers and bush roses. The roses have been chosen for longevity, form and colour.
The garden continued to grow and we purchased the property across the road in 1992. Ian and a labourer jackhammered every hole before planting David Austin, Delbard and some Heritage roses. This property was sold in 2014 and we have transplanted 30 roses here in these gardens and family and friends have adopted a good number of roses from there.
The roses are tended in the old fashioned way with pruning, fertilising regularly, mulching and deadheading constantly. We have a NO spraying policy in these gardens because we want to minimise the use of chemicals. This allows us to use our blooms in our own products including our rose petal conserve.
Friends of the Gardens
I couldn’t run the garden all by myself, but thankfully I have wonderful family and friends who help out when the gardens are open and helping to keep the roses in tip top shape. I thank them from the bottom off my heart.
Gil And Loretta
Memorial to Ian
My husband Ian passed away in 2012. He was a massive part of these gardens and was the most humble and wise man. His legacy is this beautiful garden we created together and continues on.