WORLD-CLASS: Friends of the Queensland State Rose Garden president Regina Albion prior to preparations for the coming season and formal celebrations for the internationally recognised Garden of Excellence.
WORLD-CLASS: Friends of the Queensland State Rose Garden president Regina Albion prior to preparations for the coming season and formal celebrations for the internationally recognised Garden of Excellence. Bev Lacey

Newtown Park garden comes up roses on world stage

THE Queensland State Rose Garden at Newtown Park has made a name for itself on the world stage.

It has been chosen by the World Federation of Rose Societies as a Garden of Excellence.

"It's quite a proud day for Queensland and certainly a very proud day for Toowoomba and the region and it will be wonderful for tourism," said Friends of the Queensland State Rose Garden president Regina Albion.

Because the roses flower 9-10 months of the year, she said it would "showcase to the world how wonderful our region is" not just during the Carnival of Flowers but throughout the seasons.

The world federation represents the national rose societies of 40 countries and Toowoomba's award was announced in Denmark.

The official plaque, made in Italy, will be presented in Toowoomba on October 8, when the garden is in full bloom, at a ceremony attended by representatives from around Australia and the world.

Regina paid tribute to the many volunteers who had raised funds, established and cared for the garden with council and staff since it began as a community project in 2000.

It now boasts about that number of roses!

"So many volunteers have been involved in this, and the fundraising and support from business people and citizens ... it's incredible what they've helped us to do," she said.

"Toowoomba is a very generous-minded place."

Queensland and Australian Rose Societies president, and member of the World Federation, Paul Hains visited Toowoomba on July 19 to congratulate council, staff and volunteers.

Since the awards began in 1995, the only other Australian honours have gone to Victoria, with the Mornington Botanical Rose Garden chosen in 2015, Morwell Centenary Rose Garden in 2009 and the Victoria State Rose Garden in 2003.

Regina said she was delighted to see the vision of the three businessmen who had initially put the proposal to council in 1999 that a section of Newtown Park be developed as "an international standard rose garden", come to fruition.

Every year the gardens expand, with new beds for specific colours and varieties, including the heritage rose bed, the world's largest public collection of Reithmuller roses, and a good collection of Alister Clarks, as well as being one of only two gardens nationwide to trial new Australian-bred roses.

Classes are also held for the public to learn pruning techniques and how best to care for their own roses.

To find out more go to www.qldstaterosegarden.com.


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