The Samuels Rose Garden is the biggest rose garden in Nelson, with approximately 3,000 plants. The impressive collection includes around 560 named varieties. Beds are replanted on a regular basis and each year an updated guide to where each variety can be found is printed by Council and is available at Broadgreen Historic House and Stoke Library.
Use this walk to discover some gems amongst this wonderful collection. Broadgreen Rose Day is celebrated annually when the roses are in bloom.
The Rose Walk
The Samuels Rose Garden opened in 1968 is named after the late Mr S J Samuels, a rose nurseryman, who generously assisted Nelson City Council to establish this public rose garden. He donated both the rose stock and bud wood, and undertook the budding assisted by his wife. Rima (plot 21), a salmon pink hybrid tea rose, was developed by Mr Samuels and is named after his wife.
Adjacent to the gardens is Broadgreen Historic House which is open to the public. The house was built by Edmund Buxton in 1853. One of his six daughters married the family gardener and in her memory Adeline of Broadgreen (plot 5), a pink/apricot tea rose, was commissioned by the Broadgreen Society celebrating Broadgreen's 150th anniversary.
The old fashioned rose section, established in 1984, enhances the historic atmosphere of the park and homestead. The fragrant and showy Rosa alba maxima (72c) also known as the Jacobite Rose or Great Double White, was one of the roses painted by Italian masters in the fifteenth century. Some argue it features in Botticelli's masterpiece The Birth of Venus. Souvenir de la Malmaison (plot 72c) is a lavish scented powder pink bourbon rose and dates from 1843. It commemorates Josephine Bonaparte's garden at Malmaison which was full of rare and beautiful roses she had collected from around the world. France became the leading exporter of roses in the western world as a result of this collection.
David Austin began the development of the English Rose at his nurseries in Shropshire about 1963 combining the best of the old varieties with modern floribunda and hybrid tea roses. See many of his special fragrant and colourful roses in block 89 and 89a, such as the free flowering creamy pink English Garden rose and the fragrant apricot rose Jayne
Roses are considered 'the world's favourite flower' and feature in many legends and are used in national emblems. The vibrant red hybrid tea rose Spirit of Hope (plot 21) is a fitting official emblem of the NZ Red Cross and another of the inspired creations of rose breeder Sam McCready.
Today there are over 30,000 rose varieties in the world. Fossil evidence tells us that the wild rose plant is 35 million years old. Roses were cultivated in Asia around 5,000 years ago. Thirty species rose are in our collection, including one from the Artic Circle. R Acicularis (plot 72c) has pink single blooms with five petalled flowers and pretty pear shaped rosehips in autumn.
Roses named after famous people
Famous people have roses named after them such as film stars Ingrid Bergman (plot 13), a deep red hybrid tea rose; Ginger Rogers (plot 24), a pinky orange hybrid tea rose; and singer Pavarotti (plot 70), an exuberant crimson hybrid tea rose. Special New Zealanders are also celebrated such as writer Katherine Mansfield (plot 70) with a lavender pink hybrid tea rose; effervescent broadcaster Maggie Barry (plot 15), a deep pink hybrid tea rose that opens with a pale centre, and Governor General Dame Cath (plot 55), a soft pink floribunda. Sir Edmund Hillary (plot 21) is appropriately remembered with a climbing creamy white rose.