The Lady Norwood Rose Garden is one of the most popular features of the Wellington Botanic Garden.

A rose garden has been a feature of the Garden for a long time. The original occupied the site now featuring the Sound Shell in the Main Garden. In the late 1940's the possibility of establishing a new area featuring roses was suggested, and with the assistance of the Norwood Family, work commenced in 1950, the garden named after Lady Norwood. The area opened in 1953.

The Garden contains some 3200 roses covering over 300 varieties. It include all main types -

Bush roses including -Hybrid Tea types with their large flowers, many of which are fragrant

Florobunda roses with their clusters of individual flowers of a wide colour range. Few are fragrant, but produce more colour all over the plant.

Patio roses which are ideal for pots and tubs. These are usually smaller plants with smaller flowers

Climbing roses for walls pergolas etc. There are approximately 80 on the pergola surrounding the main beds.

Shrub roses are mostly large growing plants with a variety of flower types.

Standard roses of both Hybrid Tea and Florobunda types which are grafted onto a long stem about a meter high.

There is also a heritage rose collection of roses from Regency and Victorian times in the adjoining Bollton Street Memorial Park, containing some 300 heritage specimens covering over 80 varieties.

The surrounding pergola was added in 1961. Lady Norwood donated the original fountain in the centre, although the Norwood children gave a replacement in 1977. This is an antique bronze structure, imported from Australia, although originally came from outside a bank in London. It is over 100 years old.

The design of the garden has basically not changed since it was constructed. There are 106 beds, although recently the 4 central beds have been divided into two to allow easier access, so there are now 110 main beds. The Rose Garden Brochure, available in the Begonia House, gives the garden layout, and lists the individual roses in their appropriate beds. # to 4 rose beds are replaced each year, the new roses previously trialed in the test beds located at the rear right of the garden for several years before being selected. Few of the original roses remain; Buccaneer, located in the centre close to the fountain in the north east quadrant, is one of the remaining original specimens.

The main flowering season commences in November and continues until early autumn. The plants are continually 'deadheaded through the flowering season to promote new growth and flowering. Pruning starts in May, and a pruning demonstration in conjunction with the Rose Society is held each year.

An integrated pest management program is followed, ensuring; minimal chemical sprays are used during growth. Along the Begonia House beds a number of perennials are planted which host desirable insects providing a measure of natural control. The roses are fed September, December and March.

To the west of the Rose Garden on the ridge is a Herb Garden. This in itself is very interesting, and also provides an excellent view of the area.

The east side also has the Waterfall Garden, built in 1970/71 with its Peace Flame.

on hill overlooking Rose Garden -
view above looking across valley.

Only a few of the roses originally planted remain in the Garden. One, the Hybrid Tea variety Buccaneer, is found close to the central fountain, in the north-east quadrant, and is illustrated at left..  (Removed because sof ill health in 2012)