Photo courtesy of Margaret Furness
Listing last updated on 06 Dec 2023.
Old Princes Highway
Blakiston, South Australia 5250
Zone 9b, slightly acid soil, rainfall about 550mm but subject to El Nino and Indian Ocean Dipole drought cycles.
Members of Blakiston Rotary club, curators of the Schoolhouse garden, aim to display roses, bulbs and other plants which would have been grown during the school's active years (1849-late 1860s), or which were known to have been growing in the church precinct across the road. Blakiston church area has the best-preserved cemetery plantings in South Australia, though there have been losses, presumably due to theft, since it became known to the reading public.
The garden also provides back-up for found spring-flowering roses in the Heritage Roses Collection at Renmark.
Planting began in August (winter) 2018.
It was indeed a school house; the teacher cooked his meals at the fireplace, and in the morning would roll up his bedding into a corner of the room. The first teacher, a very young man, died after about eight months of service. Future plans for the garden include a memorial to him.
Part-way through church services, children would be sent outside to play. Presumably their parents didn't know they'd discovered how soft the stone of the church was. The graffiti dates from 1860 or earlier, and includes a sketch of "The Dash", mostly likely the sailing ship Ann Dashwood, which sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne in 1853.
Some of the found roses in the garden are not yet listed on helpmefind, but will be added as we observe them growing.
"Grandma Pfeiler's", pre-1909, HT. Possibly Laurent Carle, 1907.
"Overhill Pink" HP.
In mid-September 2021 the roses nearest the grassed area (about half) were badly damaged by broadleaf weedicide sprayed by a contractor employed by the local council. All but the smallest one have bounced back: these roses are survivors.