SA Rose Society SE branch: 20th birthday celebrations

MEMBERS of the SE branch of the SA Rose Society met at St Mary's Winery in Coonawarra to celebrate the 20th birthday of the branch on the weekend.

We were joined by prominent Adelaide rosarians Kelvin and Melanie Trimper, George and Linda Thomson, Peter and Brenda Burton and Dean Stringer. 

Members enjoyed a lovely lunch seated at tables on the verandah, with much-admired table decorations by Merna Zwar using rose hips, blooms and medlars to great effect.

The meal was followed by a delicious chocolate birthday cake and speeches. 

Dean Stringer paid tribute to the late Eric Trimper who fought to instigate the branch system and was key to setting up the SE branch. 

It was noted that all past presidents were present on the day.

Peter Burton judged the bloom of the month and the prize went to Geoff Eckermann with a lovely fresh bloom of "Rhapsody in Blue", second was Glenys Mulligan with "Westerland", and third was Marjorie Todd with "Heritage".

The first prize for the raffle was coveted by many, an obelisk for the garden made by John McKee.

After lunch members enjoyed visiting St Mary's Garden, admiring the dry stone walls built by Barry Mulligan and the extensive vegetable garden. 

All the rocks for the walls and for the sculptures, also the work of Barry, come from the property and are a unique form of sandstone.

Our next meeting will be on August 31. The venue has not yet been decided, but members will be informed in the newsletter. - Branch secretary Elizabeth Newell