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Some Rookwood roses

8 years ago

Yesterday I took a bit of a stroll around some of the old areas of Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney. For those not familiar with it, it's a 286 hectare cemetery with an estimated one million people buried there. Some of the older parts are now becoming quite overgrown with a mix of native and exotic plants.

There are some reasonably well known tea roses that have come from Rookwood like 'William James Wright' and 'Agnes Smith', although I didn't see any of those yesterday. I'm not sure they are there anymore. Unfortunately my stroll was cut short by a large thunderstorm, however here are some of the pictures.

I saw at least 12 massive bushes of this particular rose, I'm not sure exactly what it is but I'm guessing it's a hybrid perpetual that must have been popular? Beautiful old rose perfume similar to Comte de Chambord. They seemed to be doing well even though they are mostly badly choked with weeds.

That's one large bush growing on the grave of George F. Fuhlendorf, d. 1893.

Below are some blooms from a tea rose growing on the grave of Rev. Joseph Cassidy, d. 1890 aged 28. Unfortunately the rose is nearly dead.

The next one was my favourite, unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture as it was surrounded by a fortress of giant thistles. The grave was unmarked and the bush looks very unhappy and is almost completely choked with weeds. The blooms have a lovely strong fruity tea fragrance.

I picked one of the blooms, here it is (jn poor lighting, sorry!)

Also there is the hybrid perpetual type above, a lemon-coloured tea with strong fragrance, possibly White Maman Cochet (?) and a curious little cupped bloom, pale pink with very strong raspberry-tea fragrance. I didn't get a shot of the bush but it reminded me a little of climbing Duchesse de Brabant (with much smaller, paler blooms though).

Continued below.



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