Wellington Botanic Garden is the place to head to next weekend to enjoy the city’s largest and most spectacular rose garden at its fragrant best and to let children mix with some farmyard animals.
The Garden is hosting a family fun day to coincide with the Wellington Rose Society's annual rose show on Sunday 25 November so people can experience the sensational colours and scents of some 3000 rose bushes in full bloom. The garden has about 300 different types of roses, including a new crimson rose called Lasting Love and the apricot coloured Hamilton Gardens.
Visitors will be able to stroll among the roses, check out the prize blooms in the Begonia House foyer between 10:00am and 4:00pm or take the guided walk at 11:00am in the picturesque Bolton Street Memorial Park where more than 250 heritage roses grow among the historic graves. The hour-long walk leaves from the park entrance by the Seddon Memorial.
There will also be a bouncy castle and petting zoo in the Dell between 1:00pm and 4:00pm with a variety of farmyard animals, including a miniature horse, an alpaca, lambs, rabbits and guinea pigs.
The Council's Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Celia Wade-Brown, says the Botanic Garden is a great place for a walk at any time of the year but experiencing the roses in full bloom is quite magical.
"It's a busy time of year but hopefully not too busy to fit in a walk or visit to the rose garden," she says. "The glorious array of colours is guaranteed to lift the spirits and a sure sign summer is just around the corner."
A 45-minute guided walk is also planned on Friday 23 November at 10.30am for those keen to learn how to grow healthy roses.
Cr Wade-Brown says Botanic Garden gardeners are constantly trialing new rose varieties, know what's best suited to Wellington conditions and are happy to share their tips on how to care for roses using as little spray and chemicals as possible. A fact sheet recommending 20 roses that should do well with minimal spray will be available from the Botanic Garden Shop in the Begonia House throughout the summer.
The roses will be flowering from now until late February.