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Boutique Inner Suburban Garden
A Parisian Inspired Courtyard Garden

Melisa Hillman Private Garden

The Creative Possibilities that Limited Space can Offer

My love for heritage roses began when my husband Evan and I bought an old cottage style home on 327sqm in Bayswater around Christmas 2011. The house had been renovated inside, however the garden was lacking joie de vivre. 

As we started making our new home our own, mum gave us a garden gift of two climbing roses (Cornelia and Pierre de Ronsard) to frame the front of our home. She said our beautiful new home must have some gorgeous roses climbing and framing its sides, and of course how could I not agree.

Mum, my husband and I planted them together and over time began to watch them grow, and every year I am constantly amazed and delighted by their beauty.  This is where my love for heritage roses grew - a gift from my mother.

Many years later when our small back garden was no longer hosting pets, we decided to renovate and turn our back space it into a Parisian style courtyard. Mum and I had great fun looking into what roses would suit my new garden. We had much joy in walking around mum’s garden inspecting her roses and discussing their suitability. Mum suggested Mme Ernst Calvat and after seeing her in full bloom with magnificent sprays and her intoxicating scent, I knew she was the one for me, and not just one but I had to have two! So in 2020 we headed to Swiss Nursery and picked out my roses, which I put in the front seat of my car and drove them home. It is unbelievable to think that the two grand
magnificent climbers in my courtyard once fitted in my car.

As my garden grows, my roses are a constant delight, they allow me to slow down, reflect on life and take in the beauty of nature. My first favourite rose was Cornelia, she is so dreamy, with her abundant spray of delicate flowers. Now I struggle to have a favourite as they are all so splendid and precious in their own way.


My garden is now enhanced with 10 roses;

Corneila: Hybrid Musk, 1925 UK

Pierre de Ronsard: Modern Rose, 1985 France
Mme Ernst Calvat (x2): Bourbon, 1888 France

Cecile Brunner: China, 1881 France

Renae: Floribunda, 1954 United States

Souvenir de St Annes: Bourbon, 1950 UK

Diana Moore: Hybrid Musk. Seedling of Francis E Lester, 1946 United States

Mrs B.R. Cant: Tea, 1901 UK
Tipsy Imperial Concubine: Tea, China 1982


I look forward to more good times with mum, talking roses, choosing roses and smelling the roses together.

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