Report on Rose Garden in St Annes Park – 19/05/14


19th MAY 2014

The Future of the Rose Garden St Annes.

The Rose Garden officially opens in July 1975 by the then loard Mayor Cllr. Taddy Dunne.

It is a 10 Acre  oval garden and has more than 25,000 rose plants  grouped according to type originally 128 rose borders were planted and has remaied more or less the same  to this  day.

Roses are a longed lived species but like all things they do not live for ever.

The vast majority of roses in the Rose Garden were planted up within a five years period so therefor the youngest of the established plants is at least 30 years old oldest 35 and even older.

Since the over whelming majority of Roses were planted within a short time span it has resulted in them coming to the end of their natural cycle at the same time. It is a credit to the staff in St. Anne’s that they were able to keep the plants growing healthy for such a long period.

After 35 years the Garden is showing its age and every year borders are collapsing if nothing is done immediately the Garden is in real danger of total collapse.

The Landscape in which the Rose Garden is set has also changed and matured, the evergreen oaks   on the perimeter are now 30 years older with a substantilly larger frame work and canopy.

This evergreen Canopy has created considerable shade which is at odds to the needs of Roses which ideally enjoy bright sunny locations.

The main Rose Garden sits within the green necklace of Beach hedge and  this is where the vast majority of Rose plants grow and where the vast majority of the public visit.

What do we intend to do

It is proposed to rejuvenate the Rose Garden over the next 5 years. Work s will enatail sourcing and growing on rose varieties no longer on the market but should be regarded as St. Anne’s heritage vartieties

Contact has been made with Rose Breeders and Growers in Ireland to produce lost Varieties and to propagate from stock still alive in the garden.  In order to keep the collection up to date the best of current international trial winners will be planted in the garden ensuring that the collection will not become overwhelmingly a historical piece.

In order to make the best of the Garden and to focus the limited staff and resources more efficiently it is proposed that the outer rim of struggling Roses i.e. the line of plants outside the Garden as a whole be removed and returned to lawn. This intervention will be a gradual process over the time span of the gardens rejuvenation 5 years. The alternative is  to this is to remove the mature Oaks and Pines  that skirt the Rose  garden, which would be dramatic and would impact hughely on the park landscape roadside canopy and biodiversity.

On a practical level refocusing the Rose displays into the Rose Garden Core will ensure that the collection will be more homogeneous and by implication the care and maintenance of the Rose should be made more manageable.

Working within a rolling  programme  of five years it is proposed that old spent borders be cleaned out and excavated of old soil to avoid Rose replant disease,  new soil will then be brought in from other areas of the park and to be planted with young healthy stock..

In Summary.

Rejuvenate the Rose Garden,

  1. Allocate      funding
  2. Breed      and propagate St Anne’s heritage varieties
  3. Strengthen      the real core area of Roses
  4. Remove      borders form areas no longer conjusive for growing Roses.
  5. Implament      replacement programme.
  6. Consolidat      staff and resources for the continual care of the new collection.
  7. Start up date for      planting Autumn 2014 and  a gradual      removal of shaded collapsed  rose      beds.

Contact:           Noel McEvoy, Executive Parks Superintendent