International Rose Garden Festival

The International Rose Garden Festival, Morwell in Victoria takes place over the weekend of the 16-17 November 2019 and this year will showcase over 4000 roses in bloom.


Visitors to the festival can expect a star-studded line-up with gardening talks from ABC’s Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis and a live performance from children’s favourite, dirtgirl.


The festival now spans two days and offers something for all visitors including:

  • A walking tour around 400 rose varieties in amongst the 4,000 in bloom
  • Live music from The Nigellas, Mel Pollard, Sweetlip and the concert and brass bands from Latrobe City
  • Art creations from local street artist, Steve Bechaz and a display of sculptures from local artists including Nicole Allen
  • Local artisan produce and wine from within the region
  • dirtgirl performs the Grubby Bucket Show live
  • An evening light show – A midsummer night’s lights will feature a creative light installation from the talented Tim Newman
  • Glamping options for the weekend traveller include staying at ABC Gardening Australia’s award-winning garden ‘Serendipity’ only 10 minutes from the Festival.


The International Rose Garden is grown and maintained by the Friends of the Rose Garden, a group of volunteers in their 70s and 80s.

International Rose Garden

Morwell Centenary Rose Garden volunteers


The group was formed in Morwell, Vic after the State Electricity Commission was privatised 25 years ago and many people in the area were made redundant. The group started as a way to give the recently unemployed something to do and offer a support for those coming to terms with losing their jobs. The garden became a support network and very much still is for its 60 members.


The group meet every Tuesday to tend the roses and have a chat. They have proved to be a lifeline to many of the members and offer support through good and bad times. Many people who have joined the group as a couple have since lost their partners and the group offers a support network for those grieving.


They organise rose themed activities on the fourth Friday of the month and have visited gardens across Victoria, as well as organise dinners in the rose rooms and watch garden themed films and information.


It’s actually a really beautiful group of men and women, and they are really knowledgeable about gardening and roses in particular. There’s nothing they can’t answer on the topic.


The roses are starting to bloom in preparation for the big weekend.


At the Festival green thumbs can enjoy a Q&A from ABC Gardening Australia’s Costa Georgiadis who will be on hand to answer all gardening questions as well as educate visitors on the importance of bees in the ecosystem.


Rose enthusiasts can enjoy talks from Helen Lovel from Neutrog who will offer advice on how to feed roses throughout the year, and President of the Rose Society of Victoria, Sandra Turner, will be conducting a rose pruning demonstration.


This year the festival falls over Pollination Week so will feature an exciting bee themed itinerary. Visitors to the event will be given the opportunity to learn how to make a native bee hotel, see how beeswax wraps are made and make your own! Or relax and listen to talks from Women beekeepers on how to attract bees to your garden.


The festival is held in the Morwell Centenary Rose Garden, which received the ‘Award of Garden Excellence’ by the World Federation of Rose Societies. The roses are cultivated by the Friends of the Garden volunteer group who dedicate over 6000 hours annually to the garden.


The International Rose Garden Festival Morwell takes place 16-17 November from 10am each day and, entry is free (some talks/demonstrations may incur a small cost). The Midsummer Nights’ Light installation runs from 6.30pm-10pm on Saturday 16th November.


For more information see:


1 November 2019.