Come the closure of the Rumsey specialist Rose Nursery of Dural in the late 1980’s, two flowers of each variety were gifted to Heritage Roses. The Rumsey Rose Garden, opened in 1995, is tucked away in a corner of Parramatta Park, featuring some of the oldest roses in the colony. For many generations, the Rumsey Rose Garden site was part of the home territory of the Burramatta clan of the Darug Aboriginal people, Australia’s first settlers. With the grand establishment of the colonial Rose Hill settlement, it soon turned into a busy government lumberyard. In 1790, Lieutenant Watkin Tench made record of the twenty four convict carpenters and sawyers that sought employment there. When the lumberyard was relocated by Governor Macquarie in 1815, the area became an entryway to the Governor’s private domain, complete with a guard house built at the gate. In the 1880’s, the Macquarie Street Gatehouse was built to replace the guard house. The Rose Hill Bowling Club took over and established a club house, bowling greens, croquet lays and tennis courts. In the 1980’s, the buildings were demolished.
The Rumsey Rose Garden came to be through the kindness and goodwill of couple Heather and Roy Rumsey. They graciously donated their entire collection of heritage rose species to the City of Parramatta. In the park’s outermost southeastern corner lies Rumsey Rose Garden. Even rose experts familiar with the bright blooms are likely to spot an unfamiliar variety. The garden is brilliantly diverse and reaches its highest expression in the months of May, October and November. A visit outside of these times however is equally becoming. The lovely central lawn is made for picknicking and sunbathing under. Should you find yourself feeling peckish, Macquarie Gatehouse Tea Rooms, located in a pastel cottage nearby, serves scrumptious high tea with and without bubbly. If you’d prefer a coffee, Circa Espresso and cafe Georgie Boy are equally fitting.
Vest, Jeans, Shoes and Hair Scarf are from Seed Heritage + White Button Down is from Sheike. Vegan leather bag is from Elegant Beverly Hills.