In search of inspiration I took to the road and around 150km from Melbourne I found an abundance of petals, perfume and possibilities.

Presented an Award of Garden Excellence in 2009 by the World Federation of Rose Societies, Morwell Centenary Rose Garden in Central Gippsland is well worth a visit when the roses are blooming which is from mid October.  With over 3000 roses I found there was plenty of inspiration for future paintings.

I was particularly taken with the gazebo covered with French climber ‘Pierre de Ronsard’, and ‘Shadow’ the darkest red rose I have ever seen with rosebuds which were almost black.

In the Australian section there was a bed of the white ‘Mawson’ and pink ‘Flemington Racecourse’ roses which made the prettiest pink and white confetti of petals underneath them.

For lovers of fragrance and multiple petals there was a rockery of David Austins, and alongside more unusual roses, there were plenty of old favourites including Lorraine Lea, Just Joey, iceberg, Papa Meilland, Mr Lincoln, Double Delight and Victoria Gold.

Whilst in the area I also visited the Rose and Fuchsia Farm at Trafalgar who have a wonderful display garden surrounded by views of green rolling hills. 

Kurinda Rose Nursery in Warragul also have an impressive array of roses in a lovely garden setting and I was amazed by a particular vigorous climber hiding a telegraph pole.

One final stop on our Gippsland tour was the gardens adjacent to the West Gippsland Arts Centre, which are an artists dream and a nod to Monet with the water lily pond and curved bridges.

With my camera full of images and my mind buzzing with new ideas I headed for home and back to the studio.