The Rose Garden was originally created from the idea of establishing a garden that showcased the Rose in Tasmania in the early 1990s.
The Rose Garden including the 800 square metre Kitchen Garden is set across 1.53 hectares, the construction of which was commenced on 5th January 2001 and opened on 1st December that year.
The master plan was by Context Design and the plant selection and layout was undertaken by Mrs Pamela Hutchins. Project advisors were Ms Oi Choong, Mr Andrew Andersons AO, Mr Ben Swane and Mr Clive Lucas OBE and major sponsors were Tattersall’s Holdings, Commonwealth Government and the Tasmanian Community Fund.
The garden is currently managed by Woolmers Foundation Inc. as a not-for-profit organisation and the work to maintain the garden undertaken by volunteers.
The Rose Garden is located within the grounds of Woolmers Estate, one of Australia’s most important museums of colonial settlement and Tasmania’s foremost tourist icon.
The Rose Garden is formal and symmetrical acknowledging the 19th century context of Woolmers Estate and provides itself a journey through history and as such, is quite unique amongst important rose gardens of the world. The garden itself is contemporary in its built form and over time has been enriched with a number of art works.
The garden has a central parterre garden which is 120 metres long and 35 metres wide, know as the George Adams Memorial Garden. It has sculptured beds of Hybrid Tea, David Austin and Floribunda roses and grassed paths. This central garden is surrounded by Pittosporum hedges and the standard trees are Robinia mop tops. A pavilion sits at the top of the garden, a rill runs down the centre and a 24 metre lily pond at the bottom.
In the north eastern corner of the garden is the ruin which is believed to be remains of a building that serviced the orchard previously on this site set against a backdrop of Modern Climbers. The front of the ruin is planted a special rose called Pamela Hutchins, named for the Woolmers Estate Rose Gardens first Rosarian.
To the north and south of the central parterre lie 20 metre wide garden beds divided into smaller sections. These are planted in a way that they may provide a more educational experience.
As you move through the Rose Garden you will discover a whole range of fascinating rose families.
A number of early apple trees can be found on the western boundary of the Rose Garden – the remains of the extensive orchards that once graced this part of the Estate.
The 80 metre rose arbour is planted with Kordes’ rose Westerland and underplanted with Helleborous. At one end of the arbour a walkway bordered by the Floribunda rose, George Best, leads you to the Kitchen Garden. At the other end of the garden you will find the entrance to the historic precinct of Woolmers Estate, just past the planting of standard Mt Fuji cherry trees which make a spectacular show in spring and provide shade in summer.
The Rose Garden may be visited as part of a self-guided tour with peak times subject to seasonal variations but generally November to May.