Roses are red – and yellow, white and pink – at Roxborough Park

Roxborough Park rose garden and its magical Alice in Wonderland inspired layout draws people from far and wide.

There are more than 100 varieties of roses, with many varieties being donated by local nurseries and rose societies.

Some of the special roses on display are the Australian Bi-Centennial Rose, The Hills Shire Council Rose and the Olympic Gold Rose.

Victor Busuttil, the Groundsperson at Roxborough Park Rose Garden at Alfred Henry Whaling Memorial Reserve, Baulkham Hills gives an insight into what it takes to look after the robust plants.

Q. How many roses at Roxborough Park?

Victor: We’ve got 6,000 roses with about 80 different species in the park.

Q. What does it take to look after 6,000 roses?

Victor: A lot of work! Basically you have to make sure the watering is adequate for roses, with a nice deep watering rather than a quick watering. You have to keep the fertiliser up to them – we like to do an annual fertilise. The other thing we have to do is dead head them once the first flush of flowers are finished. That will give you new growth and you get another surge of flowers come through.

Q. Have you planted any new roses this year?

Victor: We’ve just planted a whole new row of iceberg roses – the icebergs flower for most of the year apart from the colder months. We did have some mixed roses there but they were fairly old and were getting to the point where you could literally push them over. We decided to do a replant in this particular bed, so these will now be robust for the next 30 to 40 years. You will get a much nicer, more even show.

Q. Do you have the Shire’s Centenary Rose here?

Victor: Yes, the red Centenary Roses are on the terrace area – they like full sun and not too much overhead watering.

Q. I understand people like to observe what you’re doing with the roses.

Victor: Yes they come in and watch what you do and do the same with their own roses.

Q. Do you have a particular favourite?

Victor: My favourite is Mr Lincoln I’d have to say. It’s a red velvet rose, it has the most exquisite perfume and it’s an all-time favourite. Everybody knows Mr Lincoln – it’s a real classic.

Q. Any last words?

Victor: I love my job – just look at my office!

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