Updated: Nov 10
PRHRiA Coordinator Di Durston is well known as the Tea Lady, or Tea Bag Di, having co-authored an internationally acclaimed book on Tea Roses (read about the book HERE). Here, Di explains how she saved an old apricot coloured rose from being flattened by a bulldozer.
The saving of this old apricot coloured rose is unusual in that we took the whole rose plant just before the bulldozer flattened the block for redevelopment.
The rose was growing in Dalgety St, East Fremantle at the once Gate House of Woodside, the family home of the pastoralist and businessman from the late 1800’s, William Dalgety Moore. This small house was removed from Dalgety Street and is now located at the council precinct.
The building of Woodside was completed in 1902 when the family took up residence. In later years many will remember the Woodside building as a maternity hospital. A point of interest is that William Dalgety Moore was on a committee to set up a study for CY O’Connor’s proposal for an inner Fremantle harbour.
The rose is a pretty pink to apricot colour with lemon at the base of the petals. Jill Perry and Anita
Clevenger from California recently visited the garden and both believed that it was a Pernetiana.
My son and daughter in-law knew of my interest in heritage roses and the evening before the bulldozer came to do its work, they jumped the side fence. Their home of the time had a small back
balcony that looked towards the side fence and over the fence was the rose. They had always
enjoyed looking at the rose from the seat on the balcony.
With a glass of champagne in one hand and a shovel in the other, the rose made it back over the fence. We are very lucky to have it as the next day the machines levelled the entire block for residential re-development.
The day after the rescue they brought the rose to me and it still grows in our garden. I have passed
several plants around to make sure that others can enjoy it and we can try to identify the real name
of the rose.
I am happy to pass budwood or cuttings to anyone who would like to grow this very hardy strong
rose and make sure that we don’t lose it as it certainly has an interesting history. Contact me if you are interested, by clicking the email button in the footer of this page.